Scaling up to tackle low levels of urban food waste recycling

in 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, Conference paper (text)


© 2020 ACM. Addressing societal problems is complex; little is known about which paths or approaches are successful. We discuss what is involved in knowing when and how and for whom change needs to occur, as well as the impact of doing so at scale-especially when novelty and academic contributions may be compromised. To this end, we present a 'scaling up' framework based on a societal project where we worked with multiple stakeholders to improve food waste recycling rates in a housing estate. We propose three main factors involved in scaling up: (i) 'the people,' through reimagining roles and relationships, (ii) 'the method,' requiring flexibility in design and research, and (iii) 'the impact,' informing new measures by handing over the evaluation. We reflect on the challenges, dilemmas, and successes encountered, as well as discuss the benefit of 'handing over' the evaluation process to gather scalable metrics based on economic modelling.