Education and Awareness of Recycling

For the past few days of lab, we have been focusing on our field study report and our topic is on recycling. Specifically, we have been focusing on the recycling of aluminum cans. There are benefits when it comes to recycling and there are also consequences if we do not recycle.

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According to marck.net, the amount of aluminum cans sent to landfills every year is nearly around $1 billion. The amount of aluminum cans thrown away worldwide each year is 1.5 million tons. That is 1.5 million tons of aluminum cans filling up landfills. Recycling just one aluminum can, can save a lot of energy. The amount of aluminum cans that are not recycled in the U.S. each year is more than 50 billion cans. Imagine how much energy is wasted on 50 billion cans in the U.S. every year and imagine how much energy could be saved by recycling aluminum cans.

There are benefits of recycling aluminum cans. Aluminum cans can be recycled 100%. According to sciencing.com, there is no limit on how many times an aluminum can, can be recycled. Aluminum cans is one of the simplest consumers good to recycle and recycling them benefits the environment.

As my group and I were walking around the School of Education collecting aluminum cans, we noticed that the School of Education does not have any recycling bins outside the building and inside the building as well. Because the School of Education does not have any recycling bins, that means many recyclable materials especially aluminum cans have been going inside trash bins which then ends up going to landfills. Same goes for the other buildings at the University of Guam that do not have any recycling bins.

There are many ways to increase recycling at the University of Guam. One of the most obvious way to increase recycling at the University of Guam is to place recycling bins at the buildings that do not have any. Also, to place the recycling bins at areas that are accessible for the students, faculty, and staff. There are also ways to raise awareness on recycling. One way is to put flyers on the benefits of recycling and the negative effects of not recycling around campus especially where there are recycling bins and trash bins. If someone was to throw their plastic bottle or aluminum can in the trash can instead of placing it in the recycling bin, there is a greater chance that they might change their mind and put their can or bottle in the recycling bin if they saw the flyer on recycling.

One way to test if the solution works is to compare the amount of aluminum cans or plastic bottles in recycling bins and in trash cans. If there are more cans in recycling bins than in the trash cans, the solution works. Another way to test if the flyers work on raising awareness on recycling, is to ask students that are taking classes at the specific building and to also ask faculty and staff if the flyers made them more aware on recycling or if they gained any knowledge just by reading the flyers.

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