Improving recycling practices at the Columbia Lake Townhouses

TitleImproving recycling practices at the Columbia Lake Townhouses
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsRyan, K.
Keywordsbehavioral change, contamination, recycling habits, Region of Waterloo, residences, waste audit

In September 1997, the Region of Waterloo expressed concern about the level of contamination (the presence of unacceptable materials) in recycling carts at student residences as well as to improve current recycling habits. The author, a resident of the Columbia Lake Townhouses, undertook to assess the recycling habits and knowledge of residents to see how the situation could be improved. During the fall and Winter Terms, the author conducted visual audits of recycling carts and waste dumpsters at the complex as well as informal interviewing of residents. Based on her research, the author developed and implemented a series of interventions to improve recycling habits at the Townhouses. The interventions resulted in a significant decrease in the number of contaminants found in recycling carts during the winter term and a perceptibly higher degree of awareness of proper recycling habits including several specific incidents of behavioral change. Continued progress to increase the volume of recyclables collected and decrease the presence of contaminants in recycling carts can be aided by the recommendations contained in this paper… For full text, please e-mail