Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Do Recycling Lids Really Matter?

Have you ever wondered whether recycling lids are really effective at reducing the amount of recyclables thrown in the trash and increasing the recycling rate? Or does having these lids on somehow encourage folks to toss items into the trash?

I recently had this conversation with a friend....but he's no ordinary person; this guy likes to conduct experiments! So Experimentaholic wanted to determine the effectiveness of using these recycling lids - and "naturally," he rigged an experiment at his school just to find out.

Here's the general set-up: At both ends of a long hallway were several containers. Some of the containers were for recycling cans, paper, and plastic; another was for trash.

To examine whether the presence or absence of these recycling lids affect the recycling rate, Experimentaholic took the lids off one set of bins (i.e., experimental group) and kept the lids on the other set of bins (i.e., control group). At midpoint of the week, he switched the lids in order to rule out hallway location as a potential confound. For one week, Experimentaholic counted the number of items in each container. (Ewww....gross!!)

So what do you think happened? We have three options to consider:

A. Recycling lids don't influence whether someone recycles their materials or not

B. Recycling lids increase the recycling rate (i.e., people are more likely to recycle)

C. Recycling lids decrease the recycling rate (i.e., people are more likely to use the trash bin)

I'm really curious to know what you think happened- check out the poll on the blog and cast your vote regarding Experimentaholic's latest discovery! (I'll post his results after the poll ends.)

1 comment:

kimberly said...

Recycling is a great alternative to save our planet or decrease the pollution. I think this problem still have a sollution, just depend of us. We need to think about our vehaviour and make a change and start to make the difference.

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