Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2017


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2017


Copyright © 2017 Erika Roan


Improving recycling behavior in the workplace can reduce environmental problems by significantly cutting down on waste being sent to the landfill. A new ordinance in Lincoln, Nebraska that bans cardboard from the landfill beginning April 2018 presents serious challenges to workplaces’ current waste management, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s. The key to successfully transitioning to comply with this new ordinance is employee participation in recycling programs. To change employees’ current recycling behavior and encourage more recycling in the workplace, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of what motivates employees to recycle. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was used as a basis for this study in order to uncover motivating factors related to recycling behavior in the workplace. The study also tests to see if recycling rate and environmental impact feedback are successful at increasing recycling. The findings suggest that employees have a positive attitude toward recycling and feel social pressure to recycle while at work. Findings also suggest there may be some existing barriers to recycling while at work. The implications of the findings for designing interventions to improve recycling behavior are discussed.