Waste Management at Dalhousie University, Canada: Social Factors Affecting Recycling Behavior and use of the Four Bin System at the Studley Campus
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In this paper, we outline and explore student behaviour and habits toward the four-bin waste management system implemented at Dalhousie University. The purpose of the four-bin waste management system is to better manage and mitigate the amount of solid waste produced by Dalhousie and to also make the choice easier for students and faculty when throwing out their waste. Making Dalhousie greener has always been an important goal while moving forward. Increasing waste diversion from landfills will reduce environmental impacts and costs (Reeder, M. 2015 ). The four-bin waste management system is just one of many ways that Dalhousie has committed to improving overall university standards and becoming a greener, more sustainable work environment for everyone that calls Dalhousie their home. This new system will help Dalhousie staff and students comply with the waste management policy and support the university sustainability target of 70 per cent diversion from landfills by 2020 (Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability, 2017). Our team of students conducted this study with the hope of finding trends in student behaviour toward proper garbage disposal and waste diversion methods. When discussing options for a project, we went over many different possibilities on where we could take this research project, and collectively felt that this is an issue that affects everyone on campus. We collected our observation and survey data in the student union building, in order to incorporate people with different backgrounds. After performing a chi squared test we found that there is a significant difference between people that did comply with the four bin system and people that did not. Through our analysis we also found that the main reason for non compliance was people not caring. Our research confirms that there is still work to be done in waste diversion and disposal on campus.