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J Appl Behav Anal. 1994 Spring;27(1):153-60.

Office paper recycling: A function of container proximity.

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  • 1University of Kansas.


We investigated the effects of proximity of containers on pounds of office paper recycled and not recycled by 25 employees. During a memo and central container condition, one container for recyclable paper was provided; in a memo and local container condition, desktop recycling bins, announced by memo, were successively introduced across administrative, office, and instructional settings using a multiple baseline design. Only 28% of paper was recycled in the central container condition, but when recycling containers were placed in close proximity to participants, 85% to 94% of all recyclable paper was recycled. Follow-up assessments, conducted 1, 2, 3, and 7 months after all settings received local recycling containers, showed that 84% to 98% of paper was recycled. Providing desktop recycling containers was a cost-effective procedure with long-term maintenance and program survival.

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