Courses / From 2012 Fall - Recycling Bins (Allie - Claudia)

Spring 2013 Recycling Bins by Allie and Claudia http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Recycling+Bins+%28Tarik%29&structure=2012b+Fall+Actions -Allie and Claudia

1. What

The goal of this action is to encourage students who live in IES apartments to recyle. We live in the apartments in Gran Via and onff of Castillejos, there are around 10 apartments in the building that are occupied by IES students. I don't know of a single apartment in the building that recycles. Every kind of trash is mixed, whether its food, plastic, metal, paper, etc. It all goes in the same bin. I believe the problem is not that students don't care, it's that we are not given the materials to recycle. My idea is that IES should help educate students on how to recycle in Barcelona. The city already has a very good system with different color dumbsters on the street to help people with organizing their waste. IES as well as the RAs in the apartment buildings should educate the students during orientation about the citiy´s recycling system.
Not only should the staff educate the students about the recycling system in Barcelona, but there also should be a student-to-student involvement. Recyling does not have to just be done in the apartments, but also in IES. The IES staff should help to create a student-ran organization or club that dedicates itself to informing other students about recycling, as well as implementating new and creative ideas on how to make recyling easier. A student organization or club can be sustainable in many ways. Student-to-student involvement can make it easier for these ideas and methods to be passed from semester to semester, in the way that new members can build ontop of these ideas as well as continue to create new ones. A student organization can help to get the point of view and perspective from people who are having the same experiences. Student-to-student involvement allows for it to be more relatable to things like what students want when it comes to recycling and how they think. The project becomes more personal and meaningful when you see that it is your fellow students who have been working hard to improve recycling.
IES nor the apartments have adequate recycling bins. IES, or even the student organization can help to raise awareness of this problem and find ways to receive bins. Bringing in an element of creativity: The bins could even have an artistitc allurement by allowing the organization members to decorate the bins with varioius used materials. This can be used as a mechanism to catch the attention of people who pass by. Creating bins will make it easier for students to recycle.

Example of what it looks like in the apartments:
(note: Flyers will all be in color for final. This is just a test.)

1.1. Similar Actions from previous semesters

In the past there was an action called "Barca Dumpster Instructions," where the students made a flyer about how to recycle in Barcelona. This action will play a big part in helping my action be succesful. I used the flyer they made and posted them around the IES building and more importantly in the IES apartments. The flyers will be more effective if attention is drawn to them. The flyers should come in each persons orientation packet. With helpful flyers constantly around, it is my hope that students will not face any confusions on how to recycle. Using recycled paper to create the flyers will be a good way to show how simple recycling can help.

Barca Dumpster Instructions, 2010, Stephen Frey, http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Barca+Dumpster+Instructions&structure=2010a+Spring+Actions

1.2. SWOT Analysis

Helps promote/encourages recycling
Makes recycling much easier for studnets
Helps IES become a more sustainable community
Encourages student involvement
Allows for nonresidents to participate in Barcelona's recycling program

Many students don't care about recycling or are not fully educated about the system
Students are already encouraged to recycle and many still don't
If it is not made easy, many students will not want to put in the extra effort
Not all students live in apartments
Increase cost of aquiring recycling bins and maintaining them
The process of teaching about recyling, and forming a club will have to be done every semester

Students are likdly to recycle back in home in the United States
IES students in seperate housing can also participate
Can lead to the creation of new ideas about recycling for future students
Recyling at IES allows for all students to participate
Can lead to the creation of incentives for IES and/or the students
Can spread to other abroad programs in the area

It is very important for IES RA's to participate in this action, and they might not show interest
Many students find it inconvinient to recycle, and see it as easier to throw all their waste out in one bag
Advertising (posters) could be destroyed both over time and ripped down by vandals.
It has been found that it makes it harder for students to recycle when the apartments, or IES, are not provided with proper recycling containers.
The recycling program may die down after time

1.3. Feedback Loops

Some feedback loops are that some of the recycled waste (paper) can be reused again. Recycling in itself is a closed loop because it produces more recycable materials. IES would become more sustainable, and its reputation as a "Green" institution would grow signifficantly, which is becoming more and more important for Universities both in the United States and abroad. The action can be self sustained because we can coordinate with students coming in next semester to post up torn down recycling flyers and spread the word around apartments. It will be included in the welcome packet next semester which is another loop.

1.4. Advertising

In all IES apartments, every student lives with and RA from Spain whose job is to watch out for the students well being, as well as educate them on the city, (how to use transportation, where to buy groceries, etc). I think that when the students arrive in Barcelona the RA's should explain quickly how to use the recycling method. When we first arrived to Barcelona we were given a welcome packet at the airport with keys to our housing, a flyer with numbers for police, student handbook, etc. I think that in this welcome packet we should include the flyer made from previous semesters as well as have the flyer taped up in the apartments by the trash and recycling bings.
Another important form of advertising for this action is to post the flyers in IES. This is very simple and will cost almost nothing because it was made using recycled paper. Hopefully with this advertising around IES students will become more aware about recycling and how to recycle and bring this knowledge back to the United States.

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable ?

This action would make things more sustainable, because every semester IES students would recycle. Think about how much glass and paper and other waste gets mixed in the trash instead of recycled and re-used. Most students in IES Barcelona don't recycle and the main reason is that they don't know how. With this action they will be explained by their RA's on the first day how to recycle, and their will be flyers also explaining how to do some both in the apartments and at the IES center. Some of the greatest environmental benefits of recycling are in the conservation of energy and natural resources and the prevention of pollution when recycled material, rather than raw material, is used to make a new product. Manufacturing materials the second time around through upcycling, is much cleaner and less energy intensive than when using raw materials.

2.1. Potential Benefits

  • Encourages recycling
  • Makes recycling very easy
  • Great way to explain how to recycle to IES Students
  • IES would be promoting sustainability
  • More and more Universities and companies are going green, IES would be doing this as well
  • Students would most likely keep the habit of recylcing back in the States.

2.2. Potential Costs

  • Time & Paper to print and post the flyers
  • If IES were to get recycling bins later on it could cost a lot of money.

* we could use a LOIS business such as barcelona's PSFK and buy their innovative recycling containers

    • Each IES apartment x 5 recycling bins
  • RA's have to make sure students are doing this
  • Students also have to care
  • Might be difficult to explain at first

3. How


3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

The only thing that would be used so far is the paper for printing the flyers. After the flyers are not used anymore, or are damaged, the paper can be recycled, and a new flyer can be supplied. Also the cardboard from old boxes could be used for the recycling bins.

3.2. Questions for the unified survey

Are the bins working?
Where would you place a can?
Where would you place a water bottle?
Where would you place a coffee cup?
Where would you placea bag from chips?

3.3. Analysis of the results of the survey


3.4. Incentives

I think that incentives could definitely be used to help promote this action. However, I think that fines do not help and are bad for the action. I believe that if there is a prize for the apartment that is the most efficient with recycling get some sort of recognition. There should be and award of a dinner or something similar at the end of the semester for the apartment, or apartments in IES that are the most efficient in recycling. The RA's would monitor this recycling system and rate their apartments overall.

3.5. Relationships with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

Currently there is no sustainanbility club at IES. But through the implementation of this action, a club can be created that will help increase the productiveness of the recycling action plan, but this is difficult without the support of the IES staff.

3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

This action will go on for every semester. The recycling bins and signs do not have an expiration date. If an apartment damages or one of the items is destroyed it can easily be replaced by going to the student affairs office in the IES center and getting a new one. Like I mentioned before in the "incentives" section, I believe that their shouldn't be any fines if anything is damaged. This action is very simple to be sustained once the program is started. I think the person who is in charge of IES housing (Ferran) would probably be in charge of this as well as the RA's in all of the apartments.

3.7. Who will do what

We have already put up the flyer in our own apartments, and once we get the flyers printed out in color we will give them to other students I know in different apartments. If all of this works out, and students begin recyling the next step is to write a written proposal to the head of student affairs, and see if it is possible to create this action. I will look up costs, and include it in the proposal, because I think that is IES's biggest concern. If they approve the plan we can order the recycling bins and have the RA's pick them up from IES and bring them to the apartments. Or if it is not too expensive, we can ship them personally to each address, because there are only a few IES apartment buildings.

(Another example from farther away, with bins right below flyer).

3.8. Comparison to similar actions from previous semesters

This is very similar to the action I listed above. In the past their was an action called "Barca Dumpster Instructions," where the students made a flyer about how to recycle in Barcelona. However instead of just trying to give out the flyers to the students at the airport when they arrive, I will post them around IES and give them to the RA's in the IES buildings to post by the waste bins.

3.9. Document format


Creative Commons: Other individuls are allowed copy, distribue, and adapt the work as long as the work is attributed back to the original authors, is not used for commerical purposes, and is shared under the same or similar license as this one.

3.11. Time-sheet/ Chronogram

Mid-January: Begin brainstorming about how to promote recycling in IES.
February: Looked at prices for recycling bins instead of flyers, was told this is too expensive, its better to use something like a flyer first to see if the action can work before investing in it.
March: Print out flyers in color, post them around IES building. Also hand out the to studnets that I know in apartments, as well as Ferran in the student affairs office.

  1. Recycling, 2013, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling

  1. Barcelona's Innovative Public Recycling Containers, 2010, http://www.psfk.com/2010/02/barcelonas-innovative-public-recycling-containers.html

  1. Barca Dumpster Instructions, 2010, Stephen Frey http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Barca+Dumpster+Instructions&structure=2010a+Spring+Actions

5. Annexes

6. Students involved in this action

Claudia Zajac and Allie Mcdonald
adapted from Tarik

Page last modified on Wednesday 03 of April, 2013 23:59:40