Incorrect sorting of waste project by Tristan D, Maxence D, Luca M, Igman T

by Igman on November 9, 2017 - 11:30pm

Environmental Issue

Our project is aimed at eliminating incorrect sorting of waste in cities. More specifically, its goal is to diminish the use of garbage cans as the universal waste bins and instead, encourage people to recycle and compost as often as they can.

Solution

Our approach to this problem is to fabricate stickers that we will put on municipal garbage cans all over Saint-Lambert and that will make people reflect on whether or not what they are disposing of belongs in the trash.

Of course, this project will be done with the permission of the city and a formal email will be sent to the city for approval. Also, the slogan on the stickers will be written in both French and English so that the message can be understood by everyone.

Without invading people’s privacy and going door to door to discuss the importance of waste sorting, the project will reach a great amount of people as the stickers will be in put in public spaces and their content will be in both French and in English.

The purpose is to make people reflect on alternate, cleaner means of disposing of waste other than garbage. As an immediate effect, we hope it will encourage people to hold on to their waste a little longer until they find a better way to dispose of it than to use the closest garbage can. In the long run, we hope our project will lead to an increased awareness towards sorting waste properly and, perhaps, to the implementation of composting in some households.  

Statistics

Our recycling project is realistic as incorrectly putting something that’s recyclable in the trash can is a common mistake that many people make. In fact, this is a true problem according to “Keep America Beautiful (2006) who estimate that Americans produce 251.3 million tons of waste per year and that in 2006, U.S. consumers recycled only 28% of their recyclable waste” (O'Connor, et al., 2010, para. 2).

According to the text ‘’Strategies for the municpal solid waste sector to assist canada in meeting its kyoto protocol commitments’’, “in 2000, 31.38 megatones of nonhazardous solid waste were generated in Canada … Of this total, 7.50 tones (24%) was diverted for recycling…” (Mohareb, Warith, and Narbaitz, 2004, para. 17). This is an issue as 24% is seemingly low if we want to reduce our ecological footprint. An argument in favor of that is that if you take the European Union as an example, you have to recycle from 55 to 80% of your waste. For example, “as a member of the European Union (EU), Malta is obliged to recycle from 55 per cent to 80 per cent of its total waste stream by the end of 2013 to avoid facing EU infringements.” (Bezzina & Dimech, 2011, para. 3).

Moreover, recycling doesn’t only mean producing less waste: it also allows preserving natural resources and energy. Indeed, in the case of steel bins for example, the steel industry conserves the equivalent energy to power about 18 million homes for an entire year by recycling steel bins every year, according to Greg Crawford (Crawford, 1998, para. 2) Furthermore, the amount of steel cans recycled in 2007 yielded enough steel to build 200 Eiffel Towers, so a lot of natural resources were preserved.

 

APA In-text Citations

 

Bezzina, F. H., & Dimech, S. (2011). Investigating the determinants of recycling behaviour in malta. Management of Environmental Quality, 22(4), 463-485. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14777831111136072

 

Crawford, G. (1998, 08). Saving the earth...one can at a time. Parks & Recreation, 33, 34-35. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/198193267?accountid=4439

 

Mohareb, A. K., Warith, M., & Narbaitz, R. M. (2004). Strategies for the municpal solid waste sector to assist canada in meeting its kyoto protocol commitments. Environmental Reviews, 12(2), 71-95. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/206767528?accountid=44391

 

O'Connor, R.,T., Lerman, D. C., Fritz, J. N., & Hodde, H. B. (2010). EFFECTS OF NUMBER AND LOCATION OF BINS ON PLASTIC RECYCLING AT A UNIVERSITY.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43(4), 711-5. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/818744927?accountid=44391

Comments

Hello Igman,

Your project is very interesting and it would be great to have stickers all over Saint-Lambert in order to increase awareness on other cleaner ways of disposing trash.

However, I don’t think that stickers are significant enough. In fact, I think that most of the people will not even see them. What I would propose is try to convince Saint-Lambert to install different kinds of trash bins. Furthermore, people do not really want to hold on to their trash, which is why it would be a great idea to have recycle bins and compost bins installed with the trash bins.

In conclusion, your project is a great start, but you might want to consider pushing it a little bit further.

I think your project is very interesting and could affect the mentality and make citizens and students be aware of recycling and composting. I think you should implicate this project to the school, since I find that the school does not have a lot of recycling bins. Also, I think you should make posters or an advertisement because I do not think people will see your stickers. Furthermore, you should insist and make a petition if you want to make a change in the region of Saint-Lamber because it will make the council listen and read your proposal.

Although I think this project has good intentions, I do not believe that stickers will make a significant difference on people’s habits. Today, advertisements are everywhere. Some are about negative effects of cigarettes on your health, some are about drugs, some are about texting and driving, and some are about impacts of junk food. Indeed, these warnings do make people think about what they are about to do. However, we want people to take action and not only reflect on whether or not what they are disposing belongs in the trash.
Therefore, I think bigger changes should be made. You should ask the city about offering a compost bin for every household. Additionally, finding a way to tax people who don’t throw their waste into the correct bins could be the start of something big. I know this sounds severe, but our future generations are at risk so it is worth the effort.

Your research is quite good and your project seems very good and realistic. It is very true that a lot of people don't realize the impacts of waste disposal on the environment and how it greatly affects climate change, thus, I think it is a great idea that you decided to take action and spread consciousness to the citizens of Saint-Lambert so we can live in a better, healthier city. However, I think that you could do a little more with the stickers because putting a simple slogan on it and hoping that people won't throw out their waste in the garbage doesn't seem very realistic. It's not quite as easy and simple as it seems. For example, you could put one or two statistics on the sticker that are related to waste disposal and that could make people think and reflect more about their actions regarding this issue. Furthermore, you could even make different types of stickers with different statistics/slogans so people won't be tired of seeing the same sticker on every garbage can and it would be far more interesting this way. Overall, your project is good but it would need some improvement.

This is a very interesting project and well organized. I like the fact that it is very detailed, the goal is clearly identified and the reasons behind it are well shown. The reasons are very good, interesting and appeal to people's interest. Stickers are a good idea to make it last in people's memory, however I think you should find other ways to promote your ideas. People will pay more attention to the stickers if they already are a little bit aware of the matter. Therefore, I propose that you go like the facebook page Change in Green, send them a message and they will be able to post on their page about your project and promote it. Change in Green is a fb page related to this project made by students that are doing it too.

About the author

Igman is a promising young author that studies in Pure and applied Science at Champlain's College.