Waste Munchers Gamification

Awareness and education through gamification continue to have the most significant impact in helping people to manage their waste outputs in the most environmentally friendly way. Biffa identified an opportunity to develop a fun and interactive approach to learning about waste management through a mobile application game.

By creating a game which would educate people of all ages about waste management, it encourages and changes behaviours, and reduce cross contamination when waste organisation, which can produce several benefits such as reducing landfill, improving recycling methods, having more recyclable materials available, and reducing financial penalties for companies who manage waste disposal.

“Biffa sees the gamification of waste as an opportunity to help change behaviour and reduce contamination at the start of the waste disposal process which will offer many benefits such as reducing waste in landfills, improving recycling targets and reducing heavy financial penalties for companies contaminating their waste.”


There are many benefits to using gamification in the workplace, we have written about it in several blog posts, and given that in every opportunity where we have had to develop game mechanics in enterprise learning tools, it has achieved a more than positive response.

Developing a challenging game to support behaviour change in waste management will maximise audience retention, and make learning more desirable through gamification. The game is available on the App Store here.

Screenshot of gameplay from the Biffa Waste Munchers Phone game

Game based storytelling

Integral to any game is the story framework, that many well known games, even the simple ones, support. For several reasons other than just graphics and game mechanics, video games have become an essential part of our lives.

Good gameplay and storytelling are now considered to follow hand-in-hand in the industry. They are essential ingredients for creating an engaging, highly interactive game. There are plenty of great games where storytelling may seem not so important, like Pac-Man and Minecraft for example, however look closer and you will still be able to find the lore and reasoning for why their worlds are the way they are. Read more here.


With this in mind one of the first activities we considered was to develop a game narrative, and we worked with Biffa to develop a unique narrative, in order to meet the learning objectives and retention of information through gamification. This in turn supported us on how to direct the in-game messaging (such as intro screens, progress reporting, and end game scoring).

“In Angry Birds the birds are the protagonists and the pigs are the antagonists. The birds want the eggs back, the pigs wanna keep the eggs that they stole. That’s your emotional context. So seeing your game as a story first will help you not only easier define these two opposing forces, but also assign emotion and character to them.”

A 3D animated still of a Northern Rail Train at a rail depot

Client branded versions

Biffa’s client Northern Rail asked us to repurpose the game, so it can be used to educate new employees as part of their onboarding process. Northern have over 30 different waste streams at their depots, and some waste, such as oil contaminated materials or sharps, are hazardous and would be dangerous pollutants if they were thrown away in the wrong bin; therefore educating their new employees to sort waste correctly is essential.

We re-skinned and updated the existing game to have 3 bins, 7 levels and a considerable amount of new waste items as well as changing the background environment and bins to match Northern’s train depots. We also included materials from Northern’s ‘Planet Saving Rules’ to make sure the game aligned with their campaign to be more environmentally friendly, such as renaming the game ‘Right Waste, Right Bin’, and using their posters throughout the game.

The homescreen of the Biffa Northern 'Right Waste Right Bin' game that shows three bins at the bottom
two stripes

Gamification strikes a balance between achieving an objective and teaching employees how to perform a task and develop new skills. Not only is this a fun way to spend your day, it’s an interactive way of learning that helps people absorb and retain more information.

Do you need to develop a smartphone game that supports customer or employee learning through gamification? If so, feel free to drop us an email at info@sbanimation.com, or give us a call on +44 (0)207 148 0526. We would be happy to help

We create bespoke explainer animations, virtual reality experiences, and e-learning content for effective and engaging communication campaigns.

If you have a project you would like to discuss, feel free to get in touch via the link below.

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Home screen on the Biffa Waste Munchers game
Intern badge screen from the Biffa Waste Munchers game
Perfect level achievement in the Biffa Waste Munchers game
Tutorial from the Biffa Waste Munchers Phone game