Redesigning the Recycling Culture at Notre Dame

Andrea Savage

Savage Recycling

My project examines how displaying recycling signage and changing the placement of recycling and trash receptacles can change the recycling culture at the University of Notre Dame. During my time here, I have observed a vast majority of students and faculty members subconsciously throwing away recyclable material into the wrong receptacle. Based on my observations, this decision to not recycle is due to the accessibility of trash bins and the inaccessibility of recycling bins. Another concern regarding recycling culture at the University of Notre Dame is how informed students and faculty are about what can and cannot be recycled. A logical step for the university would be to educate both students and faculty about the rewarding activity of proper recycling and the positive impact long-term recycling can have on our environment. 

Throughout my experiments, I found that the combination of both signage and bin placement to be the most successful option to promote positive recycling behavior. These experiments helped increase the number of recyclable and trash items placed in their designated bins. By placing recyclable material into the right receptacle, every individual can have a positive impact on the planet’s condition. I conducted experiments in DeBartolo Hall with varied signage and bin placement in order to examine what method would most positively change the behavior towards recycling.