34 percent better says Rutgers psychology professor Sean Duffy. Why?
We have several speculations. First, people generally discard waste while in the process of doing something else, like talking on the phone. Perhaps the little hole increases the salience of the bin, the visual equivalent of screaming, “Yo! I’m a recycling bin.” Or maybe there’s something fun and childlike about dropping an object through a tiny hole. Why it works is unclear, but the important thing is that it works; and if you are designing or purchasing new recycling bins, I suggest that if you don’t like picking through trash, buy the one with the little hole.
Hat tip: Monica Hamburg.