Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Rolf Pendall

Abstract

Statement of Problem: Inadequate planning coupled with non-mandatory recycling practices has lead to a low recycling response at the University of Rhode Island. The student, staff and faculty suffer from lack of awareness of the appropriate recycling procedures. Compared to successful recycling initiatives in schools all over the country, URI falls low on the scale. In June 1989, URI started a campaign to implement campus wide recycling. The goal was to achieve 12% recovery rates (this is percentage of amount of materials by weightage that recycled out of the total waste stream) by 1993. It is unfortunate that in the year 1997, the rates are still as low as 9.6%. The time is now ripe to reconsider the whole process of waste management on campus. It is imperative to start with a willingness to change the behavior that accounts for this low response. Careful plans need to be implemented within budget constraints.

Project Boundary: The project boundary includes the URI Kingston campus which includes the residential complexes. There are 19 residence halls and three graduate and faculty apartments.

Description of Methods: Recycling has long been important to reduction of waste disposal. This report is aimed at making recommendations for improving the recycling process at URI. Methods employed at making these recommendations include an overview of successful recycling efforts of other universities. Consequently, the present recycling scenario at the University of Rhode Island is outlined. Personal interviews with waste managers from other universities and personal experience with the project while working at the Housing and Residential Life office, provided valuable input into the design of realistic recommendations. On-line discussion of recycling initiatives at other schools helped in carving administrative and spatial recommendations for URI. These ideas are to be considered rationally and with caution of not speeding up the process. As a result, the last chapter clearly states the key stakeholders in the recycling planning process. It also outlines the tasks of these players and the timelines within which to achieve the same.

Scope: The students are the future trustees of Earth's soon depleting non-renewable resources. The relevance of such a recycling plan go far beyond the boundaries of the campus. This recycling plan hopes to serve as a guide for the waste manager as well as for the entire campus community. A framework may be developed eventually to evaluate the success of the program over time. Any program is incomplete without feedback and evaluation. This plan anticipates mobilization of the campus community to aim for higher standards of environmental awareness.

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