Public perceptions and practices of solid waste recycling in the city of laramie in wyoming, U.S.A.

Upendra B. Bom, Shashidhar Belbase, Reni Bibriven Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Managing household solid waste is a growing challenge for many cities. To tackle this problem, cities are turning to recycling, which is an effective tool for solid waste management. This research seeks to understand the public perceptions and practices of recycling in the City of Laramie, Wyoming. Recycling in Laramie began in 1983 with the establishment of the Ark Recycling Center. Laramie officially started its curbside recycling services in September 2011, and in April 2012 the city declared its long-term goal to achieve a 40% diversion rate by 2030. The study involved a mail-back survey to understand the public participation landscape and the factors affecting recycling behaviors and attitudes of residents in Laramie. The quantitative results of the survey responses were used to create a civic engagement score, a recycling importance score, and recycling satisfaction and recycling behavior scores to measure residents’ perceptions of the recycling program. In addition, three key informant interviews were conducted to explore the efforts of the city, the University of Wyoming, and Ark Regional Services. The results show that more than 80% of the survey respondents indicated that environmental concern was the major motivation to recycle, which was related to a high level of recycling importance and satisfaction. The study further indicated that Laramie should develop an aggressive educational policy, incentive policies, and a Master Plan to encourage stronger public participation to meet its 40% waste diversion rate by 2030 goal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Civic engagement
  • Public perception in recycling
  • Recycling
  • Recycling attitude
  • Recycling behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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