Understanding Perspectives and Recycling Behaviors of Austin Residents

Feb 8, 2017 - 1:39 pm

Understanding Perspectives & Recycling Behaviors of Austin Residents

The City of Austin's Design, Technology, and Innovation (DTI) Fellows joined forces with ARR on a six month project to make an impact on Austin’s Zero Waste goal. DTI Fellows have expertise in research, design, development, and project management. 

The goal of the project is to better understand recycling knowledge and behaviors among Austin residents so that future communication and outreach efforts can better target barriers to increasing recycling. The research team has conducted interviews with residents, property managers, private haulers, and a valet waste service. Researchers asked respondents about recycling, how it worked, how it wasn’t and observed resident’s recycling behaviors.

Based on these interviews, the research team identified a framework consisting of patterns and insights on how and why Austinites do and don’t recycle.  Additionally, behavioral personas were developed to help segment different types of behaviors, perspectives, and living situations. These research findings were presented in a public meeting on Jan. 19. A recording of the presentation can be viewed at the link below:

Understanding perspectives & recycling behaviors of Austin residents video

With a deep understanding of Austinites behavior, the team is designing and testing potential solutions selected from over 160 unique concepts. This diverse set of solutions addresses 3 key areas: ability, knowledge and motivation.  Messaging, language and imagery will also be examined. The research team is currently conducting field work and is looking forward to making recommendations to implement user-centered solutions and strategies.