The study of recycling contamination (wrong materials in the recycling bins) and litter (recyclable materials left around and thrown in the garbage) in Environmental Studies buildings 1 and 2 examined how severe each of these problems were. Based on three levels of analysis, (through data collection for both contamination and litter, and a survey) the study concluded that litter is a significant problem and that contamination, although present at low levels does not threaten the sustainability of the system. A survey, designed to measure patterns of behaviour and common attitudes of ES 1 and 2 students, staff and faculty, reported the following: the most common reason for contamination or litter was the inconvenience of recycling, while more than half the respondents desired a greater number of recycling locations. Overall the majority stated their willingness to change poor recycling behaviours when made aware of recycling problems.
This type of shift in the operation of UW's waste system, could allow for the achievement of Watgreen/Federation of Students Environmental Commission's main goals: improving the quality of our environment, while decreasing the overall operating cost of the University. Improved recycling and awareness also move people towards a broader conciousness that paves the way to realizing visions of sustainability. The study of contamination and litter in Environmental Studies 1 and 2 provides people with information about the current operation of the system as well as makes recommendations for improving the system.
[Welcome Page] [Projects Page]
Last updated: April 23, 1998 plc