Science Shop project's: Inspiring Stories

Science Shop project's: Inspiring Stories

Sustainable sense of engagement for waste management in Lyon

An ambassador of Mouvement de Palier offering training to adolescents during an open event. ©MouvementdePalier

Shailaja Baichoo on behalf of BDS Université de Lyon

For the year 2018-2019, the association Mouvement de Palier worked on a project with the Science Shop of Université de Lyon through the following social demand: To analyse the sense of engagement of ambassadors who volunteer to carry out waste management in residential buildings, their social relations and how they establish a dialogue in between neighbours and other inhabitants.

Created in 2015, the association Mouvement de Palier based its foundation on the aim to find better ways to sensitize waste management in residential buildings and the neighbourhood in the city of Lyon. Today, the association’s main aim is to form citizens who have the will to accompany their neighbours as well as social and professional sphere in how to effectively manage wastes in their own residence and at the job place.

These formed citizens can then become ‘waste management ambassadors’ and sensitize other people in their close network on the subject matter of zero waste and proper recycling. The association also accompanies citizens towards behavioural change in their daily activities in order to better manage and go for zero wastes.

Posters with indications of good practices in waste recycling set by ambassadors in their residential building. ©Floriane Ordonneau for MouvementdePalier

The social relations and sharing of good experience are the main ingredients for a successful action from engaged ambassadors. Therefore, what encourages an ambassador to engage himself in this association is a crucial question in order to establish a sense of sustainable engagement. The association also offers workshops to teach ambassadors how to properly manage recycling wastes and how to aspire for zero wastes. They need to develop a playful and pedagogical tool in order to embetter their trainings. For this purpose, the association needs a thorough feedback from the ambassadors’, their sense of engagement through their interventions and what are the risks of disengagement. The project is on data gathering from ambassadors who are engaged in the association, those who are not actively engaged with the CSO and others who would like to invest themselves in such actions.

The student intern engaged on the project, Miss Floriane Ordonneau, carried out a brilliant field work on the subject matter. Floriane is a ‘Masters 2’ student in city planning and urban development. She carried out the six months of Science Shop project under the supervision of her pedagogical referent at University of Lumière of Lyon, the CSO’s project officer and the guidance of the Science Shop referent. This Science Shop project started in February 2019 and finished in July 2019.

Floriane started through a first field work by carrying out a census survey on the practice of recycling and how to go for zero waste in the city of Lyon. She started the task of evaluating all the training tools set forth by the association Mouvement de Palier to prepare for a more adapted training allowing the sustainability of the sense of engagement from ambassadors.

An ambassador of Mouvement de Palier offering training to adolescents during an open event. ©MouvementdePalier

An ambassador of Mouvement de Palier offering training to adolescents during an open event. ©MouvementdePalier

Through a series of open questions addressed to waste management ambassadors, Floriane collected a set of qualitative data based on narratives of concrete experiences that the participants could relate to her. She developed her analysis of the data by finding the successful factors, the repetitive challenges and expectations as perceived by the participants. Floriane went through the trainings offered by the association Mouvement de Palier in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the existing pedagogical tools applied.

To have a comparative analysis of the existing training tools, Floriane visited and participated in sensitising as well as pedagogical activities from the recycling centre of domestic waste of Saint-Fons, the centre for textile recycling at Pélussin and the station of water purification at Pierre Benite. These areas are sub urban regions of Lyon and are the three main recycling centres of the region.

A second part of the project implied a more quantitative approach through a series of thirty five multiple choice questions addressed to 347 ambassadors who are actively engaged and others who are still in the network of the of the association Mouvement de Palier but who are no more active members. The field work brought forward the importance of citizens’ engagement on environmental and climatic change issues.

Results of the Science Shop project

The blend of qualitative and quantitative approach of the question of citizens’ engagement in the subject of recycling and waste management gave way to a thorough interpretation of change of behaviours as they have been perceived by the ambassadors. Some of the ambassadors are engaged in the CSO due to the global urgency of climatic change issues. Others base their engagement on a sense of civic activities to contribute to local problems in terms of respect to the environment. In both cases, the ambassadors’ engagement depended on how they could apply their knowledge on the issue of waste recycling and how their close surroundings could respond through their contribution to this change of behaviour to aspire for zero waste.

Ambassadors tend to stay engaged in the association Mouvement de Palier when their interventions towards neighbours, family members and professional network in the field of waste recycling show concrete impact through change of behaviours and responsible consumption of food as well as technology to alleviate global warming. These factors are now being integrated in the design of new training tools from the association Mouvement de Palier. It is quite inclined on equipping the ambassadors with impact evaluation tools that can be measured in the short term after their intervention to their close surroundings. A new dimension on how citizens can collectively take other measures such as the installation of compost bins in their area and how to effectively communicate their actions in the process also contribute to the new trainings that will be offered to the ambassadors from the association Mouvement de Palier.

With the aim of returning the results of the project and to share about the experience of working with a Science Shop in partnership with the CSO Movement de Palier, a short video has been realised by the Science Shop of UDL. Please visit this website to have access to the video as well as the end of year report of this project.