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Assessment of sustainable recycling at The University of Jordan

Shadi Moqbel (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Rund Abu-Zurayk (Hamdi Mango Center for Scientific Research, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan and Nanotechnology Center, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Ayat Bozeya (Nanotechnology Institute, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)
Raed Alsisan (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Abeer Al Bawab (Department of Chemistry, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan and Hamdi Mango Center for Scientific Research (HMCSR), The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 15 July 2020

Issue publication date: 5 September 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

This study sought to assess the process of initiating a sustainable recycling program at the University of Jordan. It illustrates the potentials of recycling, perceived awareness of recycling by the students and staff, as well as challenges to a sustainable waste recycling program. This study aims to identify the barriers and challenges that face a sustainable waste recycling program at the University of Jordan.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consisted of investigating waste recycling potential on campus, inspecting general environmental awareness toward recycling and running an experimental recycling study on part of the campus. A waste characterization study was conducted to assess the current waste status and recycling extent. A questionnaire survey was carried out to obtain information on the students’ and staffs’ awareness of waste recycling and management on campus. In the experimental recycling study, seventy units of waste segregation bins were distributed on campus. The recycling efficiency was evaluated at two schools; the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine. The administrative support and collaboration while running the recycling program were also observed.

Findings

Overall, waste recycling at the University of Jordan has an appreciable opportunity and potential. A substantial amount of waste can be diverted from going to the landfill. Data showed general positive recycling rates except for plastic. Also, the recycling rates show great potential for enhancing. The recycling at the University of Jordan faces several barriers and obstacles. The greatest barrier was identified as the lack of cooperation of the administrative system on campus. The administrative support for the recycling program was strong only at the initiation of the recycling program. Administrative support has a vital influence on the recycling program. It has the potential of boosting it or bringing it to halt. Future studies should focus on investigating recycling efficiency for the entire campus and focus more on increasing pro-environmental behavior among students and staff in higher education institutions.

Originality/value

The value of this research lies in it being conducted in a large campus university in a developing country. Also, the study used a diagnostic approach that is based on evaluating an environmental sustainability program as it evolves inside a higher education institution. The study illustrates the challenges that face universities in developing countries while adopting green campus initiatives.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the Deanship of Scientific Research at the University of Jordan (UJ) for funding this study. Also, acknowledgment is extended to Mr Yazan AlAjluni for his help in language editing.

Citation

Moqbel, S., Abu-Zurayk, R., Bozeya, A., Alsisan, R. and Al Bawab, A. (2020), "Assessment of sustainable recycling at The University of Jordan", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 1111-1129. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-11-2019-0334

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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