Perceived Barriers Impacting Participation of Dalhousie University Residents in Waste Diversion Programs
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The purpose of this study is to identify the perceived barriers affecting participation in the waste diversion program, Dump and Run, and to provide recommendations on how to increase resident input. The study characterizes the perceived barriers and focuses on significant behaviours influencing the participation and knowledge of the Dump and Run program. The study explores waste diversion programs at other institutions, as well as principles from community based social marketing. The results from this study provide recommendations to the Dump and Run program, as well as Dalhousie residences, to further increase resident participation in the waste diversion program. Surveys were conducted in Dalhousie University’s Howe Hall residence, outside of the meal hall, with 91 participants. The surveys focused on determining the physical and behavioural barriers limiting residence participation. The survey findings indicated that the majority of residents have previous recycling experience but were unaware of the Dump and Run program. In addition to awareness, the major barriers revealed are lack of interest and an inability to physically bring their items to the Saint Mary’s collection site. Based on our findings, our recommendations to the Dump and Run program include increasing awareness of their program by having a more active presence on campus and by increasing advertisement. Increased participation could also be facilitated by providing students with specific pick-up times in residence and by establishing a Dalhousie campus collection site. Recommendations to Dalhousie University residences involve raising awareness of students through Resident Assistants and resident interactions and by providing residents with a location in the Hall where they could dispose of items prior to the Dump and Run or their move-out date. Recommendations for future action and research are to assess participation in Dump and Run 2013, complete interviews with Resident Assistants to identify further barriers and to expand survey conduction to all Dalhousie residence halls.