School teachers' and students' behaviors and attitudes toward recycling waste paper - a focus group experience
Authors: Yingli Gong, Ao Jiang, Wei Wang, Yinhe Zhu, Gaoshan Zhang, Jinjin Zhu, Junyi Huang
Abstract: There are differences in the ways and attitudes of recycling waste paper between schools in urban and rural areas at different levels of development in China. The purpose of this study was to discover the role of interactive mechanisms of waste paper recycling on students' behaviors and attitudes toward waste paper in the campus recycling process. To complete this study, urban school classes and rural school classes in the same city, which have different waste management and recycling systems. Compare before and after recycling processing systems that incorporate interactive mechanisms. Data were obtained from interviews with students, questionnaires, and focus groups. Students in 10 urban schools and 10 rural schools in the same urban area of Guangdong Province, China, were surveyed online using Questionnaire Star, and the data were examined using SPSS statistical software. In the whole system, town schools are used as the main scenario, where teachers and students put waste paper into the converters and get the corresponding items. Due to the large amount of waste paper in town schools, there will be a surplus of items being converted out. Excess items will be transported to rural areas by transport vehicles from the recycling processing plant. The goods will be delivered to children in rural schools, reducing spending on educational items, while the transporters will take away and dispose of waste paper from rural areas. The focus groups discussed attitudes toward the improved waste paper management system, and most participants felt it was beneficial and significantly improved attitudes toward waste paper. After the improvement, the participants will intentionally collect the waste paper and put it into the replacement box. In addition, some participants also mentioned the sense of accomplishment that comes from turning the collected waste paper into usable items. Convenience and a sense of responsibility to protect the environment and the self-satisfaction of helping rural students are also motivations and potentials for improving waste paper management behavior. Participants were quite satisfied with the improved system of waste paper management. Not only is it sustainable, but it also takes into account the fact that it helps schools and school children in rural areas. Greater satisfaction can be obtained from it. This study provides a good starting point for future research on student attitudes toward recycling in both types of schools. A framework is provided for further research on factors influencing positive behaviors and attitudes based on this study.
Keywords: student behaviors, focus groups, interaction mechanisms, waste paper recycling, China, urban schools/rural schools
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