Massimiliano Lanzafame

Simulation models for economics

Project work on

"Environmental education and individual behavior."


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view/download model file: environmental_education_and_individual_behavior.nlogo


The model simulates the garbage collection.
The purpose of project is to analyse the social imitation phenomenon (observational learning) as mean to change the way to collect.
Is imitative behavior enough to start a moral process?
How many diligent people need to start this learning method?
What policies are plausible and useful to begin the process?


The turtles are "houses." For each house, we set a random number of tenants between 0 and 6.
Each house takes a different color depending on the breed of tenants:
diligents (differentiating rightly);
blunderers(differentiating wrongly and randomly);
negligents (not differentiating).
If house has diligent tenants, it takes color green; if it has blunderer tenants, it takes color yellow; and if it has negligent tenants, it takes color red.
Each turtle produces 3 types of rubbish per week:
plastic / glass, collecting in gray box, amounting <= that/to 1 kg per person per day
paper, collecting in blue box, amounting <= that/to 400 grams per person per day
undifferentiated, collecting in brown box, amounting <= that/to 300 grams per person per day.

Blunderers classify as recyclable paper a share X of not recyclable rubbish, and as recyclable plastic/glass a share Y of not recyclable rubbish.
We assume that X is between zero and 40% of not-recyclable rubbish and Y is between zero and 20% of not-recyclable rubbish.


Click the SETUP button to set up the houses.
Click the GO button to start the simulation.
Before starting the model, you can choose how many diligents, negligents and blunderers the world.
Switching on "awareness-effect" and/or "imitation-effect" and/or "dustman-work" you can choose to start the environmental awareness campaign and/or social imitation and/or the work of dustmen.


There are five windows.
Three show what each common box contains:
Blue-Box is the paper basket, and contains two series: paper, by diligents and blunderers, and undifferentiated (classified recyclable paper by blunderers);
Gray-box is the plastic/glass basket, and contains two series: plastic, by diligent and blunderers, and undifferentiated (classified recyclable plastic and glass by blunderers);
Brown-box is the basket of non-recyclable rubbish and contains 3 series: paper and plastic not recycled by negligents, and undifferentiated (not recyclable) produced by everybody.
The collection is virtual: every week rubbish flow to rubbish dump; so a plot shows the stocks of rubbish.
The fifth plot shows the dynamic composition of the world.

While the model is running each plot contains:
a monitor showing the total weekly amount of rubbish in that box
and so many monitors, how many plot series, showing the partial values.
Monitors to the left (and to the right) of the "Rubbish dump plot" show total and partial amounts of rubbish with (without) dustman.


Would be interesting to extend the model allowing the possibility that within a "diligent community" could move some blunderers, or some negligents.
Could be interesting a more accurately modelling of transition probabilities, allowing the probability of return to original state, after a positive development.

An alternative approach could be to use the Swiss model to penalize nigligents and blunderers instead to remove imperfections.