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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

The Change in Amount of Recovered Recyclables: Standard vs. Novelty Bins

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 12/01/2011
End Date 06/01/2012
Funding Source Undergraduate Research in the Community Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 03/25/2012 03:32PM
Keywords recylables


  Gwen Lupfer

Student Researchers
  Theresa Cho


The proposed project aims to study the effect of fun and personal enjoyment as a motivator for participation in recycling at both the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and East Anchorage High School (EHS). The proposed study will compare the amount of material recovered from novelty recycle bins and standard recycle bins with and without sound effects. The novelty receptacle is an over-sized replica of a plastic beverage bottle (See Figure 1). A sound will be manipulated and occasionally incorporated into both standard and novelty receptacles. The sound will be initiated when an individual activates a motion sensor by depositing an item into the bin. Both the novelty bin and sound element work on fun and personal enjoyment (both intrinsic motivational factors) which have been shown to be chief motivators for participation (Ricker, 2006; Petlichkof, 1992; Long, 2007; Long, 2006; Costa, 2008). A total of four variations of novelty and standard bins will be alternated and weighed on a weekly basis. Weekly weights for standard and novelty bins will be compared using a repeated measures ANO VA. It has been hypothesized that novelty receptacles will recover significantly more recycla bies than the standard ones. It has further been hypothesized that the amount of recovered recyclables may decrease over time as individuals habituate to the elements of the novel bin (Murphy, McSweeney, Smith, McComas, 2003). The project aims to determine if, alone and/or together, visual and auditory elements work as successful and sustainable motivators for participation in recycling. Furthermore the project aims to determine the effectiveness of investment in novelty recycle bins as a means to improve recycling participation in adult and adolescent populations. In order to engage students at EHS, the findings of the proposed study will be presented to the EHS student body.

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