Brown Hall Recycling Study

In the spring of 2012, Office for Sustainability graduate assistant Kate Binder launched a pilot waste collection program to encourage recycling on campus as part of her master’s thesis. Binder and her research team removed trashcans from classrooms and designed new signage and centrally located, integrated trash and recycling bins in an effort to promote separation of recyclables from landfill items in Brown Hall. Undergraduate psychology and environmental studies research assistants collect data from the bins daily, and results showed a significant reduction in the amount of recyclable material inappropriately placed in landfill bins.

Research highlights

  • A Brown Hall waste recepticle survey was used to assess users' ease and likelihood to increase recycling practices
  • The amount of recyclable trash has already been reduced from 20-30% of collected trash to 5-10%