Researchers Use Facebook To Shame Non-Recyclers

Researchers have started a new campaign in Newcastle that installs cameras in dust bins to photograph what people are throwing away. The cameras then upload the photos to Facebook so that others can see who is and isn't recycling..

A group of students participating in the study are allowing the world to see everything they throw away, and if anyone throws away an item that can be recycled, they loose points in a league table created for the program.

People throwing away items that can be recycled and are caught on camera are then named and shamed by their friends.

Researchers believe that when people are subjected to scrutiny by their peers, they will make more of an effort to be responsible and take care of the environment. This experiment is meant to test how effective that motivation actually is.

"There's a 'naming and shaming' element to it, but the students enjoy it. Normally, when you throw something away, the lid goes down and you forget about it. But by taking a photograph and uploading it to Facebook, it's a bit like having your conscience sat on your shoulder," project leader Anje Thieme told the BBC.

Four student households in New Castle are taking part in the study, which will continue until the end of this year.