Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Alicia Rosburg, Honors Thesis Advisor


Individuals have different habits, beliefs, and knowledge regarding recycling. These can be due to a variety of reasons such as peers, upbringing, accessibility of recycling, or prior knowledge of what can be recycled. A school setting, in particular, can be influential to a student’s motivation to recycle; schools can provide an environment for students to learn about the importance of recycling and other various sustainability initiatives. Like most campuses, students’ recycling behaviors on the University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) campus are likely to be affected to some degree by the reasons listed above as well as other life experiences.

Recycling is a valuable sustainability initiative in today’s climate. Recycling saves energy, reduces wastes sent to landfills, and creates jobs along with a list of other things (Recycling Basic, 2020). It is important to create habits like recycling at a young age. Therefore, understanding factors that influence students' recycling decisions is valuable and allows for proper educational opportunities and interventions. To assess this, I conducted a survey of UNI undergraduate students to gauge their current habits, beliefs, and knowledge surrounding recycling. The survey allowed me to evaluate students’ attitudes about current recycling efforts and whether additional education should be provided to students about proper recycling. It was my a priori belief that UNI students’ awareness of recycling and concern of environmental issues has increased over the past couple of years and that students would benefit from additional education about what can be properly recycled at UNI.

Year of Submission



Department of Economics

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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