The aim of this report is to outline the findings of a survey about recycling. The information was gathered from a group of 21 students (13 female and 8 male) aged 17-38 at the Official School of Languages in Mieres. Interviews were conducted using a written questionnaire via internet. The answers were analysed according to different sections.
The first part of the survey dealt with how many people are involved in recycling. Well over 30% don’t recycle and just under 70% recycle at least sometimes. Rather surprisingly, almost all the people of this 70% recycle all sorts of materials they were asked about (paper, cardboard, glass, tins, plastic, packets, cartons and other things like batteries, oil, etc.). Paper, cardboard, glass and batteries are the most common materials recycled by the rest. On the other hand, nearly all the people who don’t recycle, said that they don’t do it because of laziness. A very small number of them gave other reasons for not recycling. These reasons were that there aren’t many recycling points and they are far from their houses home, the families don’t want to have more than one rubbish bag and the incompetence of Asturias solid waste management system.
A significant majority of those interviewed know how to use the recycling bins. However, only one person knows that depending on where you go to recycle, the batteries can be thrown in different bins. Although, some years ago there were specific bins only for batteries, nowadays in some recycling areas the blue and green ones have a special compartment for them. Very few people were wrong about where some materials (batteries, tins) should be thrown and only a very insignificant number reported that they really didn’t know.
Other purposes of the report were to analyse if the closeness of the recycling points and the information received at school could influence people at the time of recycling. About 80 per cent of the people have some type of special bins near their homes, recycling the vast majority of them. The remaining 20% don’t have recycling bins near home, nevertheless, a half of them do it. As regards the information about recycling, a vast number of those interviewed have received it at school and only a minority doesn’t recycle. Although, a handful of people didn’t get information at school, most of them do recycle.
At the end of the questionnaire, people were asked about how they think people could be encouraged to recycle, giving them a choice of answers (at school, at home or by other ways like council campaigns, etc.). The overwhelming majority of them agreed that people should be encouraged to recycle through the three proposed options whereas a very small number of the people interviewed said that the best idea is at school and only a small minority thought that the main way is at home.
In conclusion, many of those interviewed are involved in recycling. Furthermore the majority of them recycle all sorts of materials. On the other side, laziness is the main reason given by people who don’t recycle. Apparently, almost all interviewed know how to recycle. It appears that having recycling bins near home encourages people to recycle. In contrast, getting information about the subject seems not to have much influence. It was generally agreed that recycling should be promoted in different ways and there should be more recycling points.