Office of Environmental Sustainability

The new PAPER Toss game for Administrative Officers

16 December 2011
To: Staff Members

Currently, there are paper recycling boxes located near printers in administrative offices to facilitate office staff to recycle. However, a study by Krantz and McClannahan (1994) discovered that only 28% of paper discarded would be recycled when there was one central recycling receptacle, most of the discarded paper goes into the trash bins when it is recyclable. This is a stark contrast from the recycling of 88% discarded paper when the paper recycling bins are placed in close proximity to users.

Providing deskside recycling containers is a cost-effective procedure with long-term maintenance and program survival.1,2 As such, it is practiced in Republic Polytechnic and Yale University.

Paper Mayhem: Recycling Bin
Figure 1: Trash bin paired with recycling bin at Republic Polytechnic
However, increasing number of receptacles (trash and paper recycling) will increase the workload for our housekeepers, who are often elderly.

How can we effectively recycle more paper without increasing the workload of our housekeepers?

1 Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis (1994, 27, 153 -160) Office Paper Recycling: A Function of Container Proximity by Kevin J. Brothers and Patricia J. Krantz & Lynn E. McClannahan
2 Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis ( 1998, 31, 682-686) Increasing Recycling in Academic buildings: A systematic replication by Timothy D. Ludwig, Timothy W.Gray and Allison Rowell.