Open Issue V3I1 - Jameer et al | Journal of CESaRE
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Examining Solid Waste Practices and Littering at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Vaughn-Xavier Jameer, Ambika Mallian, Trina Halfhide
Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago

Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2020      DOI:   10.33277/cesare/003.001/02


Littering is a rampant problem and rooted in human behaviour. This study aims to record, categorise, and examine spatial patterns between pieces of litter and trash and recycling bins across the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. The geographic location of pieces of litter and bins (trash and recycling) were recorded and georeferenced to a campus base-map. A total of 10, 889 pieces of litter were recorded over the 7-day survey. The majority of litter was plastic (47.6%) and cigarettes (24.1%). The litter on campus was not evenly distributed. The kernel density estimation demonstrated that there was an obvious hotspot in the south-east of campus at the student activity centre (SAC), where there were more than 5 pieces of litter per sq. meter. The total of 182 bins was recorded and the mean distance between bins was 13.0 meters. Most of the bins were clustered in the southwest end of the hotspot, near the SAC. In addition, there were no recycling bins placed in this location. A recycling bin should be located in the SAC, as there are the most littering offenses, and recycling success with plastic items can be improved. Using a uniform colour for trash bins may increase proper solid waste disposal and reduce littering.


Geographic information systems, kernel density estimation, environmental behaviour, littering, solid waste management

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Many tourists call the Caribbean an unspoilt region but often those living there see a very different side. As Jameer et al. have stated in the Abstract above, “Littering is a rampant problem and rooted in human behaviour”. Their study uses spatial and mathematical techniques to map litter in Trinidad and Tobago’s UWI Campus. It’s sometimes the small steps in waste disposal that make the difference.

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