Raising Residential Recycling Rates in Stamford, Connecticut

Client: City of Stamford - Solid Waste and Recycling Division
Faculty: Dennis Smith
Team: Caroline Barth, Ellyn CM Canfield, Anne Montesano, Davin Sweeney
Year: 2009
The Department of Solid Waste and Recycling in the City of Stamford, Connecticut is a municipal agency that manages waste collection and recycling. Despite efforts to increase participation in residential recycling, Stamford reached only a 9% recycling rate, far from Connecticut's statewide goal of 40%. The City of Stamford requested a Capstone team to assess barriers to recycling among residents and to make recommendations for improving rates. The Capstone team employed a grassroots data collection method, surveying hundreds of residents in community meetings, recycling centers, neighborhood business establishments, and through Stamford blogs. Concurrently, the team identified best practices for recycling through literature reviews and meetings with various neighboring municipalities and recycling organizations. The team matched this information with findings from the field surveys to compile a report of recommendations for the City. Additionally, each recommendation was paired with a suggested implementation plan, and the City will use this report to inform recycling policies.