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Recycling bins
Recycling bins
  • May 29, 2024
  • Marketing and Communications staff

Recent SUNY Fredonia alumni and School of Business faculty had their case study, which developed recommendations to maximize recycling in residence halls, published in the May 2024 edition of the journal Lean & Six Sigma Review.

The project was undertaken by Christopher Shepp, who earned a B.S. in Public Accountancy in December 2022, and Taylor Lemiszko, who graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration: Management in May 2023, along with Professor Reneta Barneva and Associate Professor Lisa Walters.

Their experiential learning exercise to study and leverage Lean & Six Sigma to identify recommendations was done in conjunction with BUAD 427: Applied Quality Operations in the Spring 2022 semester. A premise of the study was waste generation on university campuses can be comparable to that of small towns, so even modest improvements in practices can prove impactful, Dr. Walters explained.

These practical findings demonstrated that LSS (Lean & Six Sigma) can be an effective way to involve students in experiential learning and environmental planning.” - Dr. Lisa Walters

In the study, the student/faculty Lean & Six Sigma team analyzed a dormitory’s current recycling program and proposed improvements to meet the university’s sustainability objectives, according to the study’s abstract.

The team found that a number of improvements – some as simple as adding and relocating recycling bins, creating engaging signage and establishing a campus recycling competition – could be implemented to increase recycling volume.

“These practical findings demonstrated that LSS can be an effective way to involve students in experiential learning and environmental planning,” Walters said.

The team’s research was facilitated by Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Sustainability Sarah Laurie, Interim Co-director of Facilities Services Mark Delcamp and Director of Residence Life Kathy Forster.

As a result of sustainability studies undertaken by Walters’ classes, the order or positioning of individual indoor receptacle bin receptacles – going from left to right – has been changed, so the bin designated for recycled items is on the far left, where studies show it’s more likely to be selected first to dispose of recyclables. Recycling bins had been positioned on the far right, so they were the last bin chosen.

Lean & Six Sigma Review, a peer-reviewed magazine published by the American Society for Quality, provides a holistic view of lean and Six Sigma, from the basics to the boardroom, according to its website. The journal addresses the various professional development needs of Six Sigma executives, Champions, Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts, and Yellow Belts.