It Matters a Hole Lot: Perceptual Affordances of Waste Containers Influence Recycling Compliance

Duffy, S., & Verges, M. (2009). It matters a hole lot: Perceptual affordances of waste containers influence recycling compliance. Environment and Behavior, 41(5), 741-749.

This article examines whether specialized lids on waste receptacles affect recycling compliance in public settings. Thirty waste receptacles were assigned to a lids-present and lids-absent condition, and the number of recyclable items found in recycling and waste bins served as the dependent measure. Results indicated the presence of specialized recycling container lids increased the beverage-recycling rate by 34%, which suggests that perceptual affordances of specialized container lids improve recycling compliance. Possible underlying mechanisms and implications for institutions seeking to promote recycling as an environmentally responsible behavior are discussed.

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