UBC Undergraduate Research

Visual Interventions on Compost Bin Contamination Pilat, Caroline; Hogan, Shannon; Ikiz, Ece; Arora, Meher; Huynh, Brenda


Posters have been shown to have a marginally positive effect on viewers behavior. This experiment examines whether visual interventions can improve the contamination rates of compost disposal by university students. The study had an experimental condition of placing visual interventions in 35 floors of a university residence, and measuring the contamination rate of the compost bins both before and after the introduction of the posters. Contamination rate was measured as number of contaminants per kilogram of compost. The results were shown to be statistically insignificant, disconfirming the hypothesis of the study. Our results may be explained by the “information overload” effect, wherein increased quantities of signage decrease comprehension. Our findings can be used to inform the design of waste sorting stations, and to help guide focus on reducing waste contamination away from visual interventions and towards higher impact interventions. 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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