Raffles Institution Year 2 Research Education Design for Change School Challenge 2011 RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT RECYCLINGIN YEAR 2 RAFFLES INSTITUTION (RI) STUDENTS By: Recycling in School Team Leader: Wang Wei Jie David (2Q) Team Members: Hu Yi Guo (2Q) Lucas Lee (2Q) Wahid Al Mamun (2Q) Teacher-mentor: Mr. J Daniel Luther
Acknowledgements-Our Teacher-Mentors, who have guided us throughout this project: -Mr Zachary Low -Mrs Cheryl Yap -Ms Chan Yan Ru-The school and the Research Education department, for making DFC (Design ForChange) a new Research Education project, and without whom embarking on thisproject would not have been possible.-Mrs. Lim Yoke Tong, for creating Awareness Week specifically for the Design forChange Action Week-Our parents, who have always been our beacon of hope in times of need whencarrying out our project-Our peers, who have supported us and helped us in one way or another.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgementsAbstractArc 1: Proposal of TopicChoice and Significance of TopicFeasibility of TopicMethodology To Be TakenArc 2: Literature ReviewWhat is the situation?What is the degree of the situation?Who is affected?What are the solutions?Arc 3: Methodology Taken for Action WeekArc 4: Action WeekWhat we did to do what we did.What we achievedArc 5: Results and ReflectionsStrengths and weaknesses and how we overcame problemsLearning pointsReflectionsSourcesAppendix:Sample Survey
AbstractOur project aims to get more people to recycle, mainly by raising even moreawareness about it. Our observations showed that many people simply throw theirwaste materials, such as water bottles and drink cans, away into the dustbinsdespite the fact that recycling bins are very close by. As such, we want to get themto start recycling. In order to do this, 150 surveys were administered on RI Year 2students, who are our main target audience, to find out the root cause of studentsnot recycling, as well as to find out possible solutions to this problem. Through thesurveys given out, we found out that most people do not recycle as there are noincentives in doing so, or were just too lazy to do so. Therefore, we implementedseveral ideas, such as creating posters to spread awareness and warn students ofthe consequences of not recycling, a Facebook page doing the same thing andputting “Recycling boxes” in classes for students to be able to recycle with ease.
Arc 1: Proposal of Topic1.1 Choice and Significance of Topic This topic was chosen after looking at individual preliminary ideas that weregenerated by each and every group member. Even though the ideas were distinct,most of them had a same problem- that is, the problem of the lack of eco-friendliness. Slowly, after a few meetings and several discussions with our thenteacher-mentor Mr. Zachary Low, we decided to embark on the project on recycling.To be more specific, we started on a project to help raise awareness on recycling,specifically on Year 2 Raffles Institution Students. This is due to the fact that first ofall, the Year 2 batch of this year is our batch, so data tabulation would be madeeasier. Other than that, through our first-hand observation from every-day life, Year 2Rafflesian students rarely maximize the recycling facilities already put in place.Moreover, the Year 2 students of Raffles Institution would also be an ideal batchbecause they have been in Raffles Institution long enough to know about the stepsthat Raffles Institution have taken for increasing recycling in the compound, but theyare also young enough to change their mindset about recycling. Thus, the Year 2batch was chosen as the target pitch for our project. Moreover, with such a smallsample size, we can then examine the reasons as to why they do not maximize therecycling facilities in school, and thus we can have this project as a start for ourgroup, or other groups to examine the reasons as to why Singaporean youth or evenyouth in general do not maximize already-existing recycling facilities. Other than that, we decided to take on recycling as our main project becauseof the fact that with every passing day, due to our rapidly globalizing society, moreand more resources are being used up to support our rapid progress. Thus,resources are wasted, and some resources, such as oil, are expected to dry uppretty soon. Thus, recycling is becoming more and more important as the solution tothis resource crisis. Thus, through our project, we can benefit the society because ofthe fact that our findings might be useful to see why Rafflesian youth, and almost ineffect, Singapore youth, do not recycle, such that adaptations to the system can bemade for suiting this problem.
1.2 Feasibility of Topic We believe that this topic would be feasible because of the fact that manygroups before us have embarked on this topic, and so this would prove to bestepping stones for our own discovery about the two sides of our problem- that is thelimitations of the Rafflesian recycling system, as well as the reasons as to why Year2 Rafflesian Students do not maximize recycling facilities. Other than that, we alsofeel that it would be possible to carry out this project because according to what wehave observed from our time in Raffles Institution, recycling facilities can beimproved, and at the same time, students‟ mindsets about recycling can be changedas well through our outreach.1.3 Methodology To Be Taken Being a Design For Change (DFC) project, there are some aspects of themethodology that are compulsory. However, we felt that these methods alone arenot enough to carry out our entire project. Thus, we decided to adapt the DFCmethodology for our benefits. Firstly, we decided to do a literature review such as to further understand therecycling attempts being taken by local governments, especially in schools. Throughthis literature review, we would be able to come up with the reasons as to why thesystem is not fully utilized. However, the literature review, which handles only theaspect of the problems with our recycling system, would not suffice as our baselinefor our solutions. Thus, we also decided to carry out a survey on a sample size ofmore than a hundred Year 2 Rafflesian students such as to further find out thereasons as to why students do not fully utilize the system. With these two pieces ofinformation in our research, we can then tackle the next part of the project, which isthe mandatory Action Week, based on the Design For Change (DFC) outline.Basically, the Action Week is a seven-day, staggered series of actions that wouldhave to be undertaken by all participating groups such as to tackle issues alreadycollected from preliminary research. With the conclusion of the Action Week, wewould then assess the effectiveness of our solutions, which would be the net resultof our project, and also the baseline for other groups embarking on similar projects.
Arc 2: Literature ReviewWe have to find out the problems that a lack of recycling causes, things likeconsuming more energy and fossil fuels and deforestation, which lead to globalwarming. We also have to look at the root cause of why students do not recycle,which involves carrying out surveys and possibly interviews (something that we didnot do)Every single being on the planet is affected, because firstly, global warming occurson a global scale, and secondly, things like contamination and deforestation alsoaffect wildlife. Along with that, recycling can also be linked to the economy, and thatmeans it has the potential to change many things, and in effect, lives.The current situation of the world is already dire, with millions of tons of rubbishdisposed of every year, and even more than 90% of plastics not recycled. Sea levelsare expected to rise by a few inches in the next few decades, and the temperature issteadily inclining.The obvious solution would be to get more people to recycle, mostly by educatingand raising awareness for recycling. For some people, the thought of recycling therecyclable they‟re about to dump into the dustbin doesn‟t even cross their mind. Byraising awareness, we can lead to them recycling recyclable items. For others, itcould be that they‟re too lazy, in which case we could provide incentives for them.However, due to a lack of money and a good system, the only incentive we can offerthem would be for them to be able to survive global warming and not die to disastersresulting from not recycling, and going poor from the rising prices of oil and runningout of natural resources.As such, we‟re plan use standard things like posters and also utilize Facebook dueto the rising use of social networks and increasingly technologically adept teens oftoday.
Arc 3: Methodology Taken for Action Week 3.1 Survey Results and Analysis Before embarking on our Action Week, we decided to come up with a survey such as to complement our literature review, which only tackles the question of as to why the school recycling system is not being utilized fully. As part of our research on how frequently Year 2 Raffles Institution (RI) students recycle, we conducted a survey on our research topic, in order to gauge a general consensus on how frequently Year 2 RI students recycle, and the reasons for their willingness, or lack thereof, of recycling. Our survey had 8 questions crossing over a range of topics. We did our survey on a total of 158 respondents, of which 115 surveys were valid. Our respondents were all Year 2 RI students, who were all aged from 13 to 14. From the survey, we found out that 48 respondents (41.38%) recycled only some of the time. 35 of the respondents (30.17%) would only recycle at an infrequent basis. Only 7 respondents (6.03%), however, would recycle all the time. This can be seen in the graph below. Question 2 60 48 50No. of respondents 40 35 30 Series1 17 20 7 9 10 0 Always Most of the time Sometimes Rarely Never Frequency of Recycling Fig 1- Question 2 The above results show that most Year 2 Rafflesians do not recycle at a frequent rate, as seen by the fact that 83 respondents (71.55%) either sometimes or
rarely recycle. This is compared to only 24 respondents (20.69%) who would at leastrecycle for most of the time. In Question 3, we asked the respondents who do not recycle all the time as towhy they do not do so. Of the 104 respondents who did not always recycle, 49 ofthem (47.12%) stated that they were too lazy to do so, which is a sizeable amount ofpeople. This possibly reflects the sentiment that Year 2 Rafflesians hold aboutrecycling, and this may be something we would hope to tackle through our project.Other than that, 43 respondents (41.35%) stated that there are not enough recyclingbins nearby, which was why they were not willing to recycle a lot. Of these 43, 35 ofthem (81.40%) responded in Question 6 that the school should put more recyclingbins around the compound. This reflects the fact that they do care about the systemand want it changed for their benefit. There are many reasons given as to why Year 2 Rafflesians do not recycle ata frequent rate, as seen from data from Question 4, which asks the students whetherthe school‟s recycling program is effective, as well as to ask the reason why they door do not recycle at school. From this question, we can see that a large proportion ofstudents do not believe that the school‟s system is effective in making them recycle.In fact, 94 of the respondents (81.04%) believe that the school‟s recycling system isnot that effective. The reasons as to why they responded in such a manner aredepicted in the pie chart in Figure 2. The pie chart below shows the reasons as to why the respondents who hadnot felt that the system that was in place in RI to increase recycling was effective inmaking the students recycle felt that way. As seen above, the most commonresponse from these respondents was the fact that the school makes little effort inpromoting recycling. Out of the 94 respondents who had not felt that the system waseffective, 35 of them (37.23%) feel that the school does not make much of an effortto promote recycling in school. This can be alleviated if the school takes certainmeasures, such as to further imbibe recycling into the CLE (Character andLeadership Education) syllabus already present in RI, as well as visual aids aboveexisting recycling bins, as well as rubbish bins, such that students are made awareof where to recycle. Furthermore, 21 of the respondents (22.34%) state that there
are not enough bins in the compound. While it is true that the school would be ableto provide more bins in the compound, this statistic is not entirely reliable, because ofthe claims that there are not enough bins in the Junior Block and canteen, whenthere are already at least 3 bins in each of these facilities. Question 4b- Why is the system not effective in making you recycle? 6 2 5 5 Don‟t care about recycling 2 Dont see the reason why should recycle Not sure No incentives to do so 35 Not enough bins 21 Not many people recycle Recycling bins not used School makes no effort in promoting recycling. See recyclable stuff in rubbish bin 11 6 Figure 2- Pie Chart of Question 4b The respondents were also asked in the survey as to whether the school‟smeasures in placing recycling bins throughout the compound are effective inQuestion 6. The first part of the question asked them if there is a need to place morerecycling bins in school, as seen in the graph below.
Do you think there should be more recycling bins? 100 86 90 No. of respondents 80 70 60 50 40 29 30 20 10 0 Yes No Figure 3a- Bar chart of Question 6a The graph above reflects the opinion held about the respondents that theschool is not really doing much. This is evident, because it is seen that 86respondents (74.78%) felt that more bins are needed in the compound, as comparedto the 29 who said it was not necessary. The 86 respondents who had said yes werethen asked in the second part of the question as to where to put the bins. Theirresponses are seen below. Where should the school put the recycling bins? 6 2 Blocks 7 Classes 30 Replace dustbins 7 The entire compound Canteen 8 Crowded places Dont know 10 Staircases 16 Figure 3b- Pie Chart of Question 6b As seen above, a majority of the 86 respondents (34.88%) feel that thereshould be recycling bins in the blocks themselves. This is probably because they arenot aware of the fact that there are already blocks in these locations. This reflects
that the bins there should be put in a location quite accessible and visible to thestudents, instead of its present location, at which the students are unable torecognize where the bins are. The next most given location was the classrooms, inwhich 16 respondents (18.60%) wanted recycling bins in. This is probably due to thefact that they are very busy, and the effort to recycle at a place distant from the classmight seem to be a disruption to daily schedule. Thus, they would prefer to haverecycling bins in the classes themselves. As for the suggested methods given by respondents to increase recycling inthe student population, the presence of a reward system was the most citedsuggestion to increase recycling, as seen in the graph below. Question 7 Make recycling more 5 Suggested Methods to Increase Recycling convenient More recycling bins 13 Incentives 51 Enforce it as rule 4 Series1 Dont know 24 CIP 2 Advertise recycling 17 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 No. of respondents Figure 4- Bar Chart of Question 7 The graph above shows that out of the 116 respondents, 52 of them (44.83%)suggested that the school provide incentives to the students such as to recycle. Thisshows that the students are willing to recycle only if some reward system is present.The next most cited suggestion is for the school to advertise recycling. 17respondents (14.66%) called for the school and other educational boards to furtheradvertise recycling. This reflects that probably the school has not done enough topromote recycling. By advertising recycling, it may be possible that students aremade more aware of the reasons of why we should recycle, and thus make recycling
part of their daily routine in life. Thus, advertising recycling is a possible step theschool may make in further increasing recycling rates in RI. The last question we asked them was about the implications of not being ableto recycle properly on the world. This was to assess whether they were aware of theimplications of global warming. The results are as follows: What are the effects of not recycling? 19 12 48 Climate change 13 Global Warming Wastage of Resources Wasted Energy Economic Loss Polluted Landscape 42 59 Figure 5- Graph of Question 8 As seen in the graph above, the most given factor was the factor of globalwarming, which was stated by 59 respondents. 48 respondents* then gave climatechange as another factor. The least given factor was the one on economic loss,which was stated by 12 respondents only. This shows that the students are generallyaware of the negative aspects of not recycling properly, but it can be furtherembedded into our final plan such as to further increase awareness.3. 2 Implications of Results on Action Week The surveys we had conducted over a total of 158 Year 2 RI students, ofwhich 116 of them were valid. Although this does not make up most of the RI Year 22011 cohort, we feel that 115 respondents is a rather accurate view of the cohort,which means that we can use the results from this survey to help our Design forChange (DFC) project. There are two main ways that the results garnered from this
survey can help our DFC project. For one, by finding out that nearly half of therespondents had suggested an incentive system as a means to get students torecycle more, we can thus use it into effect as one of our ways to change theenvironment around us, as DFC aims to do. For instance, by having a reward systemfor the class which recycles the most within a given time, we can target this mainsuggestion that the respondents have already provided to us. Also, by finding outthat the respondents want recycling to be promoted more in school, we can thus setout to give a presentation on recycling and its relevance to the school, particularlythe Year 2 RI students, who are our target audience. Alternatively, we could also useposters. After long deliberation with our teacher-mentor, Mr. Zachary Low (who left theschool for further studies a few weeks after starting on these discussions) as well asour new teacher-mentor, Ms. Chan Yan Ru, we decided to take up several coursesof action. Firstly, we decided to take part in the Awareness Week exhibition set up byMrs. Lim Yoke Tong from the 19th to the 21st of July such as to further spread ourmessage through an exhibit. Other than that, we suggested the uses of posters, aswell as an incentive idea, which involved an incentive for the class who recycled themost amount of stuff in a given amount of time. This was to be done in conjunctionwith the Year Head for Year 2, Mr. Daniel Chua, and the Year 2 CECC (ClassExecutive Committee Council)
Arc 4: Action Week4.1 Awareness Week Thanks to Mrs. Lim Yoke Tong‟s attempts to set aside time for all the DesignFor Change (DFC) groups to complete their Action Week, the school decided to setaside 3 days solely for DFC groups to carry out their Action Week. Thus, from the19th to the 21st of July, 2011, our group decided to take part in the Awareness Weekexhibition, as it was so called. This Awareness Week would be essential for us tospread the message of recycling to the school. On these 3 days, the four of us tookturns to man our given booth at the Main Atrium, while answering questions aboutour project. At the same time, our preliminary posters (not officially stamped by theGeneral Office) would also be on showcase at our booth to catch the attention ofpassers-by.4.2 The Facebook Status During our discussion, it came to us that we do not need to rely on physicaloutreaches to get the attention of people. We realized that most of our targetaudience, that is to say the Year 2 cohort of Raffles Institution, are active on thevirtual world, and thus, we decided to harness this to our advantage. Lately, we havefound out that Facebook has been used as a main political weapon, and a mediumfor social change. This was most evident when a stream of Facebook statusesregarding child abuse originating in America caught the attention of many publicfigures on Facebook, such as the news broadcasting site CNN, as well as others.This then became a global phenomenon for about 2 to 3 weeks. The idea of the Facebook status is to put a status that is generic, and thenasking people to „like‟ the status on Facebook before posting it on their respectivewalls. Of course, this was a risky game, seeing as Facebook has many people whoare apathetic towards recycling, and those who claim that posting a message onsaving the environment on Facebook is just a contradiction to our Action Plan.
Despite all those risks, we took the chance, and it was reasonably successful,although unlike the child abuse status, our status remained local.4.3 Recycling Boxes Due to one of the reasons that students do not recycle being theinconvenience of having to go a long distance to reach a recycling bin, we tried out anew initiative within our own class – to install a box for students to throw their wastepaper into, and when it was filled up, one person could bring it to a recycling bin forpaper and recycle it all, thus making it much easier and convenient, and allowingstudents to recycle more.4.4 Posters We designed a myriad of posters designed to achieve multiple things, such asto raise awareness about recycling, remind students to recycle, share facts about thenegative consequences of not recycling, or a combination of these. These postershave been approved and most of them are placed above the dustbins in the canteen,thus reminding the students to recycle their waste instead of trashing it, while a fewothers are in common areas, such as the Junior Block‟s staircase landing, so that itcan capture the students‟ attention and get them to recycle.
Arc 5: Results and Reflections5.1 ResultsDuring the course of this entire project, we learnt many different things and wemanaged to bond together as a team. Even though we changed our teacher-mentor2 times, we remained focused on our goal, which was to persuade people to recycle.Even though our project was not a resounding success, we believe that we havemade a considerable impact on the state of recycling in Raffles Institution andchanged the mindsets of some students. As such, we consider our project a successas we have achieved the goals that we set at the start of this project.5.2 Problems and how we overcame themWe encountered many problems while doing this project. An example was findingsolutions to the problem that we identified. Initially, we believed that it was extremelydifficult, if not impossible, to change the mindsets of students in Raffles Institution.However, we boldly carried out the solutions that we brainstormed and it turned outto be successful.5.3 Learning points and possible future extensionsWe learnt many things during the course of this project. We learnt thatcommunication is extremely important in a group in order to succeed as we wouldnot be able to carry out our allocated tasks properly as we are not clear of the thingsthat need to be done. Also, we learnt many things about our group mates that we didnot realize before embarking on this project. As with any other project, there is roomfor improvement. We believe that interviewing related persons would have addedgreat insight to our project. Also, we could have launched a bigger scale initiative topersuade more people to change their mindsets and start recycling.
BIBLIOGRAPHY"Warmer and sicker? Global warming and human health." Nova: Science in the News, Accessed April 6, 2011. http://www.science.org.au/nova/081/081key.htm.Podesta, John. "Global Warmings Toll on the Economy." American Progress, September 17, 2007. Accessed March 08, 2011. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/09/podesta_nast.html."Green Facts." EcoForce: Eco Products That Work, Accessed March 06, 2011. http://www.ecoforce.co.uk/green-facts.htm.Bowling, Clarke . "Cartoon pictures for Facebook profiles a sign of support for anti-child abuse campaign." New York Daily, December 03, 2010.
Appendix A: Our SurveyGood day, Sir. We are a group of Year 2 students and we are carrying out thissurvey for our RE project, which focuses on recycling in RI and mainly why studentsdo not recycle, as well as possible solutions. We would appreciate your cooperationand help in completing this very short survey. Please circle the appropriate answersand answer the open-ended questions honestly and seriously. 1) What is your age? 13 14 15 16 2) How often do you recycle? Please provide as accurate an estimate as possible. Always 100% of the time when it is possible Most of the time Perhaps 70-90% Sometimes 50-70% Seldom 1-50% Never 0% 3) Please rank the reasons for why you do not recycle with 1 being the biggest factor and 2 being the next biggest factor Too lazy No recycling bins nearby (Within 20 metres) Arguments against recycling found online Think that recycling does not have much of an impact Others: _______________________________________________________ 4) Is the school‟s effort in making pupils recycle effective? (i.e. are they succeeding in getting more people to recycle) Yes No
Please elaborate: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________5) What items do you normally recycle in school? Drink cans/bottles Cardboard Paper Metal Glass None Others: __________________________________________6) Should the school put more recycling bins around? Yes No If so, could you suggest where, as well as what bins to put? ____________________________________7) Could you suggest some possible ways to get students to recycle more? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________8) Please try to state as many impacts that result from not recycling as you know ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Thank you for your time. This information you have provided will be very helpful and will give us great insight towards the problem of recycling in RI. Do be informed that we may conduct a follow-up survey in the future which will be something along this line, so please try to show the same co-operation then as you have shown now. Have a nice day!