Recycling at Columbia Lake Townhouses

by: Amy Boate, Amber McCool, Shannon Melissa Haywood, Brian Borg, Michelle Bullock, Brody Lehtonen

Course: ERS 285, Winter 1997
Professor: James Kay


We examined the waste stream at the Columbia Lake Townhouses to determine if it could be reduced through effective recycling. In addition we collected data to determine whether a composting program would be feasible at the townhouses in the future. We collected our data through administering a survey to each occupied townhouse, resulting in a total of 75 completed surveys; we also conducted 36 waste audits (12 units were audited over 3 non-consecutive weeks). The data was analyzed by making generalizations regarding survey results, correlating various survey questions, and correlating the waste audit data to the survey filled out by the corresponding household.

Through our analysis we found that a large percentage of the residents at the Columbia Lake Townhouses are unclear as to what materials can be recycled within the complex. An additional finding was that the majority of residents are willing to separtate their compostable scraps and take them to a composter located on townhouse property. However, most residents would not be willing to participate in turing the compost. If a composter was to be implemented, its maintenance could be a responsiblity of the complex superintendent. Our main recommendation is to put stickers on the carts that are located at each of the four recycling stations. These stickers should provide more explicit instructions as to what can be included in each cart, thus minimizing the amount of confusion experienced by townhouse residents.

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Last updated: May 13, 1997