Food Waste and Cities: Helping Residents Source Separate Using Behavioural Science
Kat Heinrich
4 May 2021

Webinar streamed live on 15th July 2020.

Cities generate huge volumes of food waste. Many cities provide food recycling collections to their residents. Even with these services, many residents continue to dispose of food into residual waste bins. So what can be done about this?

Pilots were recently completed across six cities in the Netherlands to find the answers. This pilot tested ten interventions aimed at helping residents to correctly source separate their food waste. For example, the pilot tested the effectiveness of setting social norms vs rewarding residents for recycling food waste.


Join us to hear from Gijs Langeveld (project manager) and Daan van den Elzen from the City of Rotterdam (a pilot participant) about the pilot. Gijs and Daan share their results, challenges, and lessons for other cities seeking to help their residents source separate food waste.


“Put a sound base infrastructure in place and people will already start performing quite well.”

– Daan van den Elzen –

“It is a long walk, and you need to start somewhere – either with pilots or small areas or a total rollout – and you will generate the benefits.”

– Gijs Langeveld –

Daan van den Elzen

Advisor on Waste Collection and Recycling, City of Rotterdam

Daan van den ElzenDaan is Advisor on Waste Collection and Recycling for the City of Rotterdam. He developed the city’s Waste Management Directive and works on the program Rotterdam Circular where it involves waste management. Previous positions all relate to projects aiming to increase the city’s diversion rate from waste to energy for domestic waste. Main projects were the introduction of separate collection of organic waste and a new facility for sorting plastic packaging from the residual waste.

Gijs Langeveld

Principal Consultant, Project Gijs

Gijs enjoys setting up initiatives which solve complex problems in areas of circular economy and waste management. His areas of expertise are food and organic waste, plastics, sustainable packaging, behavioural aspects, sustainable smart cities and metropolitan areas, refugee camps, business strategy, change management and entrepreneurship. Both in the developed and in developing countries. He has realized projects for clients like the World Bank, Unicef, International Solid Waste Association, Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment), VNG-international, Knowledge Institute of Sustainable Packaging, Dutch Waste Management Association, Dutch Solid Waste Association and cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
Organised together with: be Waste Wise
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