Identifying Waste Management Behaviours of Dalhousie University Students Concerning the Reduction of Disposable Cups on Studley Campus
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An online survey was advertised throughout Dalhousie University’s Studley Campus asking undergraduate students about their disposable cup usage on campus. From the participating students (n=105) they were divided into two categories based on the faculty their major is in. The science category (n=71) included students from the faculty of science, computer science, and health. The art category (n=34) included students from the faculty of arts and social sciences, management, the social work program, management, architecture, planning, and law. Results indicated there were no significant results when comparing science students and arts students with the number of disposable beverage containers they bought on campus. There was a significant difference between mindsets as science students indicated greater effort to reduce their disposable cup usage than art students. Science students show higher participation in waste reduction and effectiveness, as they showed to have received more environmental education on disposable cups (formally and/or informally) from the university than the art students, despite art students showing higher usage of bringing reusable beverage containers to campus. Overall, there was no difference in waste generating behavior between the two student categories, but both groups agree that the university needs to take more action on this issue. Recommendations for the university would be the school working with on-campus food vendors to work on limiting the number of disposable beverage containers available, as their work could lead to a full-out ban, which students from this study showed to be in support of. The second recommendation for the university is that education on waste mitigation measures needs to be brought into the classroom, as science students indicated that education given out by the university broadens their mindsets on their waste usage, and how individual waste reduction can play out when considering a global environment.