Discovering the hows and whys of forming habits is a lucrative field.

It's a prominent study in the marketing world - if a business can find out how to make a customer loyally buy their brand, they've got a customer for life.

The trick to this is guiding the customers into forming a habit. Many businesses do this with loyalty cards - it's a simple way to keep customers returning.

All it takes is a few free coffees for a customer to habitually buy from that cafe.


It's a concept that also translates to things like reducing waste.

For Tauranga to reduce its landfill costs, it needs to get its residents to become habitual recyclers.

This has worked in other cities where it's part of the weekly chores to put the crate on the kerb next to the rubbish bin - benefiting the council by reducing landfill costs and benefiting the customer by making recycling an easy thing to do.

When I lived in Whakatane, our council got us all into recycling.

The council drastically reduced the size of our wheelie bins and gave us a plastic crate for bottles, glass, cardboard and plastic.

Recycling then benefited us because it saved space in our tight rubbish bins, it did not cost any extra and was conveniently picked up with the rest of our trash.

Years later, it's now a habit.

In Tauranga, unless you're self-motivated to recycle, there's no real incentive to do so - it's not easy, convenient or mandatory.

Kerbside glass recycling has stopped, bringing our city to a crossroad.

The halting of glass collection has people talking about stopping paying for collection altogether and will likely result in more landfill if something is not done.

The council has the chance to remedy this and effect lasting change by implementing a city-wide kerbside service to the benefit of us all.