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Don’t be a Waster! Student Perceptions of Recycling Strategies at an English University’s Halls of Residence.

Dixon, J. and Parker, J., 2021. Don’t be a Waster! Student Perceptions of Recycling Strategies at an English University’s Halls of Residence. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 22 (7). (In Press)

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Official URL: https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/1...

Abstract

Purpose: This paper explores student perceptions of recycling, and explores whether one university’s strategy helped or hindered student recycling in their university's halls of residence. There is near-universal acknowledgement of the urgency of the climate crisis, yet household recycling rates remain low at 45.2%. Student-recycling rates have been suggested to be even lower. After a brief consideration of the recent history of sustainability and recycling, this paper identifies the actions required to increase student recycling, including peer influence, education and information, physical structures, and attitudes and motivations. Design/methodology/approach: Twelve in-depth, semi-structured interviews were undertaken at one Southern English university. The rich, qualitative data obtained were then analysed thematically. The theory of environmentally significant behaviour provided a framework for understanding perceptions and behaviours in that site. Findings: Confirming aspects of existing literature, students’ recycling behaviours were found to be limited through lack of perceived ability, lack of facilities and unconfident knowledge. Students were also found to be limiting their own actions. A holistic approach including peer influence, education and information, physical structures, and attitudes and motivations was recommended. Originality: There is little research into student recycling behaviours and limited literature concerning halls of residence, especially in the UK. This paper draws on one case to add to nascent understandings. Whilst limited to one site and by sample size, a number of recommendations are made, covering university facilities, student empowerment, and individual responsibility to increase future recycling.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1467-6370
Uncontrolled Keywords:recycling ; studetn attitudes ; halls of residence ; sustainability
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:35706
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 08:11
Last Modified:21 Jul 2021 09:19

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