A Case Study In Recycling Bins: An Academic Study

What Are the Benefits to Providing Recycling Bins?

Providing recycling bins gives people the option to recycle their waste in public places rather than just throwing it into trash cans. This can prevent recyclable materials from ending up in our already overly full landfills. But the real question is that if someone is provided the recycling bin how much really gets recycled? Check out this case study on recycling to find out!

A Case Study in Providing Recycling Bins:

One such study was done at Western Michigan University in 2012 in their academic buildings by providing garbage bins as well as trash cans to students. The baseline results showed that 20-30% less waste winding up in trash cans that will automatically go to land fills. This study provided separate bins for recycling plastic, glass, and metal objects.

The case study on recycling found that there were, even more, benefits of providing more recycling receptacles than just less trash in landfills. Some of these benefits included less littering around campus and decreased residential energy use. These positive behaviors displayed by the student body and faculty on campus helped the environment by not only reducing material waste but by reducing energy waste as well.

Estimates are that the recycling rate of glass used on campus rose to 27.1%, 35.1% of metals were recycled, and 62.5% of paper products used were recycled. These numbers were significant improvements from the 8.2% of all materials that were recycled in 2010.


Providing recycling bins in public places, such as around academic buildings on a school’s campus makes everyone more aware of their waste-causing habits. Not only can the institution, company, or business sell the recycle more material and save the waste from ending up in the landfills but they can also sell the recycled products to a company who make new items for money.

Institutions have also noticed other cost-saving benefits such as reducing energy bills from other forms of used energy. The simple presence of things like recycling bins makes people recognize and be conscious of their habits and the results on the environment.

Many places that have put out recycling containers also notice the overall energy use of other utilities such as electricity or water within the business as well. People are simply aware that they may be using excessive amounts of resources and cut back the waste. The recycling bin is a great, constant, visual reminder that we need to protect our planet in every way possible for ourselves and the next generation.