Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


College students--Middle West--Attitudes; Recycling (Waste, etc.)--Middle West--Public opinion;


There is an abundance of research on environmental attitudes and recycling; specifically however college students are very under represented. This population is one that is very important as these individuals will be the ones making decisions, privately and politically, with regards to recycling programs in their communities. By understanding their attitudes and behaviors in college, those designing recycling programs can develop and modify programs to suit their needs, and education programs can be prepared to better inform these individuals. The purpose of this study was to study the attitudes and behaviors of college students related to recycling. To accomplish this, students from three Midwestern United states post-secondary institutions (a two year public community college, a four year private college and a four year public university) were administered an online survey using Surveymonkey.com. The survey was made available to all students at the three institutions for a period of 4 weeks with multiple participation reminders. At the conclusion of the four weeks the data were tabulated and evaluated to address the principal question of what are the attitudes and behaviors of college students relative to recycling as well as to make comparisons between institutions and categories within the institutions. With a population of over 19,000 the 626 responses is impressive, but introduces challenges to statistical analysis. Due to the very low response rate there were not statistically significant results. However, Minitab statistical software was used in limited scope to examine the relationship between gender and questions about influence of participation or lack thereof in recycling, only one of which showed a small but significant connection. The rest of the data does give a picture of college student attitudes which overall are positive. This study is an excellent starting point for future studies of college student attitudes about recycling. It provides a framework on which more in depth examinations of factors influencing positive behaviors and attitudes can build.

Year of Submission



Department of Technology

First Advisor

Mohammad Fahmy

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xii, 276 pages)



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