Cartoons of Disposal Behaviour Types

People do many different things with their rubbish in public places.


Some actions involve putting stuff in bins, cleaning up and getting others to do the right thing while other actions damage the environment, create health hazards and make work for others to clean up.


We discovered various types of disposal behaviour after making over 95,000 observations of what people actually did with their unwanted items in malls, beaches, parks, transport stops, markets and outside public buildings. We identified 9 positive behaviours and 11 negative ones.


You are welcome to use these cartoons but please use this acknowledgement:

Copyright Community Change, 2003, Cartoonist Kerry Millard.


Positive Disposal Behaviours



Running after litter which has blown away




Prompting others to do the right thing



Bringing your own containers to take items home for reuse, recycling, composting or disposal



Suggesting others pick up litter they have dropped



Coordinating people to work together to clean up


The Assist

A pick-up if a ‘foul shot’ misses

 the assist

Trail blazing

Going out of your way to find a bin when there isn’t one nearby

  trail blazing


Cleaning up after someone else



Stuffing items into an over full bin, even if your hands get dirty



Negative Disposal Behaviours



Most items are put in the bin but some are left behind

 90% ing

Flagrant flinging

Throwing or dropping items with no apparent concern

 flagrant flinging

Foul shooting

A missed throw at a litter bin



Grinding items into the ground & leaving them there



Placing items under the seat at sporting stadiums, cinemas or events



Items are buried, often in the sand at the beach



Items are stuffed into gaps between seats and other places



Going half way by putting butts and gum on the bin rim but not all the way inside


Clean sweeping

When arriving at a table where others have littered, sweeping items onto the ground

 clean sweeping


Putting items in objects that are not bins (cardboard boxes, plastic bags or beverage containers) & then leaving them behind



Surreptitious releasing

Discretely littering and moving away as if nothing had happened

surreptious releasing