Sustainability at Central Washington University

Student: Matthew Johnston

Mentor: Jennifer Lipton


At Central Washington University, there is a lot of disconnect and miscommunication about recycling and composting on campus. Recycling has a lot of issues on campus in terms of how students recycle and how much students are able to recycle on campus. Besides the larger bins by the academic and housing buildings, there are smaller bins that only take cans and plastic bottles. With the lack of recycling all around to being majority of the areas of high traffic on campus, and it is an inconvenience on campus. The research was taken on getting survey information, GIS data points of recycling locations, and taking statistical and quantitative data on all of the geographical data taken.


4 thoughts on “Sustainability at Central Washington University”

  1. It’s awesome how much research effort can be driven by a strong personal interest. Great work making your own maps, too. I liked the part at the end when you listed all the people on campus that you are going to share this with.

  2. Great presentation and you’ve collected a lot of really interesting and useful data! Among several things, I especially like how you differentiated between place of origin among your survey respondents. A couple of questions I’m hoping you might be able to answer regarding your research:

    1) How and/or why did you choose the particular locations and times for the walk-by data?
    2) With regard to the second map, could you please explain a bit more about what those blocks/boxes are?

    I also have a couple other questions that popped into my head as I watched your presentation. They very well may be beyond the scope of your project, but I figure I’ll toss them out there in case you happen to have any insight:

    1) Who determined the current locations of recycling bins on campus and how were those decisions made?
    2) Why aren’t there more “single-sort”/”single-stream”/commingled recycling bins on campus?

    Thank you in advance for your responses.

    1. Matthew Johnston

      Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your support as well. To answer your questions, first on the project.
      1a. So the times were dictated because of my class schedule and the supposed business at those times, if I could have I would have done 10 am and 11 am as well as those have heavy class and traffic amounts but classes prevented me to those times specifically, as for the where, those regions had a recycle bin near them in a spot that was easily accessible to everyone. There were a few other spots that I wanted to get to but due to time constraints in a quarter, I couldn’t get to all of them.
      2a. Yes so the blocks were there to easily define the new locations of the recycle bins.
      Questions about the campus.
      1b. Facilities and Grounds Keeping are the ones who dictate their locations.
      2b. I am unsure but that is a good question that I could ask to Facilities. I am writing an academic paper on the porject as well and so I could include that in here as well as respond back if I get a response. The only thing I know is that resident halls got single stream containers outside but that is the extent that I know.

      Thank you for your questions!

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