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Green Home Improvements .info is written by Charles Faust. Charles has been in the home improvement industry since the early 1990's and has owned his own company for a little over 10 years. This blog was created to show Charles' efforts in making his lifestyle more "Green" and how his product selections for his clients are becoming "Greener".

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Survey Says People Do Not Recycle

Written by green1 on Jul 20th, 2008 | Filed under: General Information, Green Shows Green events


Last night I attended a concert at the Comcast Center in Mansfield MA.  The Steve Miller Band was playing and the crowd was a good mix of people from teenagers to 60-70 year old.  In my opinion the diversity of the crowd was perfect in order to see how many people used the recycling bins next to every garbage can.

Concert Recycling

My observations were somewhat casual since I did not have a team of people monitoring every garbage can and recycling bin with scales and other scientific tools.  I could only use my eyes to determine how full the recycling bins were in comparison to the garbage cans.  My entire “survey” consisted of 4 trips to buy bottled water and two other random walks, in total maybe 6 trips past 10 or so garbage stations.

Recycling Cans Empty

The end result was that not one recycling bin contained more recycled cups and bottles than the one in the picture.  The garbage cans were about 1/3-1/2 of the way full—-WHY?   The trash cans were side by side with the recycling bins, I can’t think of an easier way to provide people with a way to recycle other than manning the garbage stations with recycling Nazi’s.  The concert had ads on their giant TV’s requesting that people use the recycling bins so I feel that they did everything in their power to promote recycling.

Instead of an informative blog post, I will close this with a list of questions:

What more can a concert venue do to promote recycling?

Why do people choose to place their recycling trash in garbage cans?

Why do people recycle at home but not in public?



9 Responses to “Survey Says People Do Not Recycle”

  1. Wow that empty recycling trash bin is sad… I would have thought “some” people would have used them to recycle their bottles and cans. Very, very concerning indeed especially when the concert promoted recycling and the use of the bins.

  2. Cindy, I was at another concert this past weekend that had less recycling bins and they seemed to get more use??? At some point I’ll post a picture and write an blog post about it, but for now:

    The only difference that I could find was that the garbage cans were the side loading ones and the recycling boxes were top loading. I wonder if people used them because they were easier to use then the garbage cans? Another thing that I find interesting, the 16 OZ drink cups that everyone drank out of would not fit in the recycling bins since they were to wide.

    BTW, nice job on the PR5! I took a bunch of links off of my site today including yours from the blogroll, I’ll get yours back up once I figure out some bugs.

  3. That is so sad to hear! I thought by now most people understand the power of recycling - but I guess not.

    I personally think it all still comes down to laziness and ignorance but above all CONSCIOUSNESS. So much of the time we are on auto pilot and do not live out our lives consciously so yeah there may be a recycling bin right next to the garbage bin but people are going about based on old habits unconsciously.

  4. I think the problem is that most people don’t recycle at home. Right now I live in an are that has a recycling program. 2 years ago I did not and I had no clue where to take anything. So I hate to say I didn’t do it. It may just be that many of the people there are not exposed to recycling much or don’t do it at all.

  5. Wow - I am shocked that the recycle bins were so empty. I truly thought that our communities were becoming more aware of environmental issues and recycling just seems like a no-brainer (and EASY). I guess that’s why we have our green blogs! Hopefully a smidgen of our eco-ideas will help others understand that every little bit helps.

  6. It seems that we have a long way to go to educate people regarding the benefits of recycling. I think there may be a “large crowd” phenomenon at play in your example. Some individuals throw their garbage on the ground, others see and do likewise, thinking it is acceptable behavior.

  7. I think one problem is that people aren’t sure what can be recycled. So they feel safer just to toss it in the trash bin.
    We need more education on recycling.

  8. Steve, either the venue did a great job cleaning up the liter or people just used the garbage cans–I have an eye for liter.

    I could understand if it was a young drunk crowd that opted to throw everything in the garbage cans but at this concert every age group was present. While it was only 20,000 people or so it goes to show that people (of all ages) have yet to embrace the idea of recycling.

    Mattieholliday, good point, sometimes I am not sure if public recycling bins are intended for everything or just bottles and cans.

  9. i thought that so many people knew about the landfills filling up with recyclables but many people are blind to what we are doing to our mother earth.

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