Semester of Graduation
Master of Science (MS)
Recycling contamination is a central challenge to recycling programs but is infrequently studied due to the difficulty of measuring contents and the inconvenience of sorting through recycling bags by hand. We conducted two simultaneous experiments to address both the issue of recycling contamination and the infrequency of its study at Louisiana State University in Fall 2021. We implemented two signage treatments, the first explicitly instructing passersby not to recycle a short list of common recycling contaminants, including Styrofoam, food wrappers, plastic bags, and face masks, and the second generally encouraging recycling but excluding specific instructions on what to recycle. To improve data collection, trail cameras were utilized in this research area, which is a novel approach. After concluding that trail cameras were a useful approach in measuring recycling contents, we analyzed the results of the nudge experiment by both camera data results and hand count bag data results. Results of the nudge experiment showed that signage with explicit instructions reduced contamination rates.
Rivette, Mimi, "Reducing Recycling Contamination Using an Information Nudge" (2023). LSU Master's Theses. 5790.
Dr. Jerrod Penn