Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Sunil Mithas, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Robert Tiller, DBA

Committee Member

Grandon Gill, DBA

Committee Member

Mark Taylor, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jarrett Loran, DBA


Residential Recycle, Pro-environmental Behaviors, Single Stream, Solid Waste Management, Prompts, Contamination


Curbside recycling as a preferred mode of residential and municipal sustainability goals seems to have an overwhelming acceptance and adoption in the US. About 69.8 million out of 97.3 million (72%) single-family households in the United States have access to curbside recycling services (State of Curbside Recycling Report, 2020). Collectively, the programs divert about nine million tons of recyclables from landfill disposal each year (Cottom, 2019).

For a design that started in the 1980s in the US, its rapid universal adoption seems to have precluded a concerted effort in examining the coproduced nature (Households: service receptors and Municipalities: service providers) to ascertain an effective and efficient service optimization mode for both households and municipalities. While it is a universal practice, the has not been a significant increase rate of recycling lately (35.2%), as evidenced; 67.2 million tons of MSW were recycled in 2017, slightly less than the 66.7 million tons recycled in 2015 (EPA 2019). With results such as these recycling program administrators question if we are facing diminishing returns for the entrenched curbside residential recycle programs and what could turn the tide.