UBC Undergraduate Research

Promoting education, awareness, and participation in composting at UBC Get Caught Composting Archambault, Carmen Faye; Pan, Connie; Yang, Christina; Hayward, Irene; Leung, Helen; Choy, Colin; Tam, Catherine


The inception of an In-vessel Composting Facility on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus has created a need to evaluate current initiatives and increase the awareness, education, and participation of composting through proposed recommendations. Since its introduction in 2004, the facility has faced many challenges including contamination and low volumes of compost bin contents. Review of literature indicated that students did not truly understand the significance of sustainability and felt that the messages put forth by the University and the corresponding actions were often inconsistent. First year students were generally found to be more open to sustainability than later years, hence we decided to target this group. In addition, this group would be educated and equipped to make an impact on the UBC campus for their remaining years and go on to impact future students. The philosophies of community-based social marketing were applied to design a campus wide Get Caught Composting campaign, which would recognize students composting and provide an incentive, thus increasing awareness and participation. This campaign would require collaboration with UBC Waste Management (UBCWM), UBC Residence Sustainability Coordinators and future AGSC 450 groups, and would ideally be launched during Imagine UBC and at the first year residences. Other recommendations include greater ownership and visibility of compost bins, more information posters, education and training. The UBC Food System Project (UBCFSP) is representative of the global food system, hence our work serves as a model which can be studied and applied globally. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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