Student Recycling Behavior on Notre Dame Campus

Corinne Eckert

Eckert Recycle Sign

This project observes the recycling behavior of students on Notre Dame’s campus through the use of different signage and placements of the trash and recycling receptacles. My experiments with signage were created based on the lack of academic research done on this aspect specifically. In other aspects there was support to consider the effects of color, shape, size, and placement of waste receptacles and the best methods for these features. However, currently the receptacles on Notre Dame’s campus vary in all aspects of these properties, therefore a section of this paper is to deliver a solution to the University that could create a uniform system that is the most effective in waste diversion. Based on the research done concerning size, placement, and color I have made a recommendation, however what was lacking was the idea of signage to complement the bins, and thus came my experiment.

With the help of the research I did based on color and message I created several variations of signs that had a single goal in mind: to change recycling behavior. As you read you will see how I came to find an effective sign not for the recycling bins, but rather the trash. Overall I found that there was something more effective in diverting trash than encouraging recycling in effectively changing the behavior of the consumer.