UBC Undergraduate Research

Thinking in 3D : The Effect of 3D Boxes on Waste Sorting Accuracy Cho, Stanley; Du, Jose; Huang, Jianchao; Leung, Casper; Wu, Michael


Waste sorting accuracy has long been a problem for sustainable waste management. One proposed solution is the placement of 3D signage as a guide for people to sort waste. Previous literature found that 3D signage had zero to a minimal increase in sorting accuracy. This study examines the impact of additional 3D boxes on sorting accuracy at the UBC AMS Nest. The study was conducted over the course of two weeks, with one week for each of the conditions. A waste sorting station by Pie R Squared was observed during lunch hours from 12-2pm over the course of two weeks with one week allocated for each condition. In the control condition, the sorting station only had 2D signage while 3D signage was added along with the 2D signage in the experimental condition. Data was collected in the form of photographs of the top of each waste bin. The results from statistical data analysis showed the difference between the two conditions to be insignificant. We concluded that 3D boxes are cost-inefficient based on the results of this study and previous studies, and suggest utilizing a manned, food court style waste sorting station as an alternative solution to sorting accuracy. 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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