Convenience Boosts Recycling Rates

June 2019

Small changes in convenience can have a significant impact on recycling rates.

Traditional views on recycling are that education is the best way to increase recycling and organics diversion rates.  This is the wrong approach according to University of British Columbia (UBC) research which shows that recycling rates can increase by placing bins closer to doors.

Their findings were based on the premise that people care for the environment and want to recycle.  Bins were placed in three different locations within multi-family buildings; garbage disposal area (inconvenient), base of an elevator (more convenient) and by elevator doors on each floor (most convenient).

When bins were placed on each floor the amount of waste diverted to recycling was up to 141 percent higher than garage-located bins and 70 percent higher than elevator base-located bins.

These findings suggest the best approach to waste reduction and reducing waste collection costs is to allow for recycling and organics disposal on each floor.

Click here for access to this research.


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