Waste disposal has been one of human being’s biggest problems ever since the dawn of civilization. Humans create loads of waste every day ranging from empty bottles to excretions to banana peels. What to do with all the garbage that the people create has been the discussion of panels ever since the Roman senate got together. Most of the people are not aware of the fact that putting the garbage out of their trash cans can cause many safety and environmental problems. People tend to throw and litter stuff around thinking that ‘it’s only a little piece of trash and only I am doing it so it’s not going to make any difference’. This is a very wrong attitude because if everybody started to think like that, then the world would be in trouble because everyone will be littering and no one will be throwing the garbage in the cans. Also, we have a growing number of people in this world and as the people grow, so does their trash. The best way to reduce trash in our environment is to recycle it. The first step in getting the people to recycle is to have them understand that recyclable trash should be put in its right place.
An experiment conducted by P. Wesley Schultz concluded that pleading the people repeatedly is one of the best methods in which to get people to throw the garbage in its proper place. This experiment was based on recycling methods and it required the people to put the recyclable objects into their proper recycling bins. The experiment was conducting by using feedback interventions that were aimed at the personal and social norms of the participants. The experiment included the study of the “curbside recycling behaviors of 605 residents of single-family dwellings for 17 weeks. Groups of contiguous houses were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 experimental conditions: plea, plea plus information, plea plus neighborhood feedback, plea plus individual household feedback, or the control condition. Interventions were implemented using door hangers delivered to each household over a 4-week period. Results showed significant increases from baseline in the frequency of participation and total amount of recycled material for the individual (i.e., personal norm) and the group feedback (i.e., descriptive norm) interventions” (Schultz, 1999). Five other studies that were specifically designed to assess the effectiveness of feedback as an intervention to improve recycling include: DeLeon & Fuqua, 1995; De Young et al., 1995; Goldenhar & Connell, 1991-1992; Hamad, Bettinger, Cooper , & Semb, 1980 -1981; and Katzev & Mishima, 1992. It has been concluded that normative feedback can be used successfully to alter behavior in community settings, and our action plan is going to be based on this information.
The problems regarding pollution are well known to almost everybody but it is a fact that people sometimes do not really understand the implications of how their actions affect the environment. People think that just throwing a small piece of paper on the ground is a minor offense and would not contribute to the increase in pollution when they cannot be further from the truth. Every single piece of litter that is felled on the ground counts and this is what needs to be communicated to the public. The problem of putting the garbage in trash cans and recycle receptacles becomes more complex and hence important when recycling is involved. It now becomes imperative that the right type of garbage is placed in its proper receptacle. So it becomes another aspect of our plan: to educate the people about recycling and to change their behavior so that they put the right material in the right can . This can be achieved by giving the people a feel of moral commitment, where the people are made to oblige to recycling the garbage not because they are being forced to, but because they are told that it is for the betterment of the environment, hence the world and for their and their future families’ lives.
“Garbage may be an unusual case of a problem that could, at least in substantial part, be handled by instilling modest collective values in individuals. But it might not be worth the cost to do so unless we suppose that highlighting the morality of recycling and reduction of consumption of instant garbage has positive impact on moral commitments more generally. It is plausible that those who are morally motivated on garbage issues are generally so motivated and that environmental concerns are not the prior stimulus to their morality. If so, the limits of moral commitment may be relatively severe. In particular, there may be a fairly low ceiling on how much improvement we can expect to get with moral commitment to reducing the problem of garbage” (Hardin, 1998).
To recycle the recyclable garbage, it has to be sorted out into the different classifications, for example, metal should be separated from plastic etc. The problem here is that either people throw away the recyclables into normal trash cans or they contaminate the recyclables by either putting non-recyclable material into the cans or the wrong substance in the wrong can. All this adds to the costs as well as the time-period of the waste disposal process. I believe that it is important to highlight the importance of recycling to everybody and to let them know that we are all adding to the world’s pollution and waste by just throwing our garbage away. I believe that everybody should actively participate in recycling our garbage so that our world’s garbage is reduced and we can hope to live in a world that is cleaner, and one that gives us and our children a healthy environment.
1.DeLeon, I., & Fuqua, R. (1995). "The effects of public commitment and group feedback on curbside recycling". Environment and Behavior, 27, 233-250.
2.De R Young., Boerschig, S., Carney, S., Dillenbeck, A., Elster, M., Horst, S. , Kleiner, B., & Thomson, B. (1995). "Recycling in multi-family dwellings: Increasing participation and decreasing contamination". Population and Environment, 16, 253-268.
3.Goldenhar, L. M., & Connell, C. M. (1991-1992). "Effects of education and feedback interventions on recycling knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors". Journal of Environmental Systems, 21, 321-333.
4.Hamad, C. D., Bettinger, R., Cooper, D., & Semb, G. (1980-1981). "Using behavioral procedures to establish an elementary school paper recycling program". Journal of Environmental Systems, 10, 149-156.
5.Hardin, Russell. (1998). “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” Social Research. Volume: 65. Issue: 1.
6.Katzev, R. D., & Mishima, H. (1992). "The use of posted feedback to promote recycling". Psychological Reports, 71, 259-264.
7.Schultz, P. Wesley. (1999). “Changing Behavior with Normative Feedback Interventions: a Field Experiment on Curbside Recycling”, Basic and Applied Social Psychology. Volume: 21. Issue: 1.