Date of Award


Degree Type



John Van Buren


Our experiment aimed to find whether there was a correlation between the distance necessary to travel in order to recycle and the actual frequency of recycling. As a result, we hypothesized that recycling rate would be dependent upon the convenience to the recycler and consequently that the farther the distance between the garbage and recycling receptacle, the lower the likeliness of recycling. Between two buildings, the Walsh Library and the McGinley Center, we found that the total amount of recycling varied only slightly between these two buildings with Walsh having a 71.6% rate of recycling of all items, while McGinley had a 71.9% rate of recycling of all items. When further broken down however, Walsh and McGinley had only properly recycled 55% and 48% of items respectfully. More clearly, only 55% and 48% of the items in each building were properly put into the recycling receptacles. As a result of this finding we had to reject our initial hypothesis and consequently fail to reject our null hypothesis. A secondary part of our study involved the distance of the entranceway’s effect on the rate of recycling at connected recycling and garbage receptacles. In Freeman, 61.2% of the items were recycled properly while 89.8% of items were in total recycled. In Dealy, a mere 55.6% of items were recycled properly while only 71.6% of items were placed in the recycling bin in total. The final finding was that gender played no significant impact on recycling tendencies.