Skip to main content

IBSS-Ex: Integrating Social Science and Systems Methodologies for Sustainability: Promoting Appropriate Waste-Disposal Practices in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Associate Name: Jian Ni

Funding Source/Period of the Grant: NSF 08/1/14-01/31/18

Project Description

This interdisciplinary research project will explore the potential for a new approach to reduce trash accumulation and promote recycling in low-income urban neighborhoods. The project will demonstrate how different social science methods can be integrated to provide insights and answers useful in urban sustainability management. The investigators will bring together perspectives and approaches from behavioral science, decision and management sciences; econometrics and behavioral economics; and the social determinants of health. The project will provide new insights regarding the factors that influence waste-creation and -disposal practices, and it will assess the potential for different kinds of approaches to reduce litter, increase recycling, and improve urban environmental characteristics. The project will be conducted in low-income neighborhoods in the city of Baltimore, but it will provide new theoretical insights in a diverse range of other locales, and it will inform the development of programs and policies designed to promote urban neighborhood quality and sustainability. The investigators will work in collaboration with neighborhood residents, community associations, environmental organizations and city agencies to investigate the causes and to pilot test and evaluate solutions to the problem of urban trash accumulation. The project will provide valuable education and training opportunities for graduate students, and it will involve students from a number of high schools that have science programs with a health focus and with large numbers of students underrepresented in science and engineering in the U.S. (From NSF).

Photo: “Fallbrook Waste Disposal Heil Rapid Rail” by TheTrashman97 is licensed under CC BY 2.0