Strategies for Improving Recycling at a Higher Education Institution: A Case Study of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Jamar Bailey1, Maria Pena1, Terry Tudor*, 2
1 Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Campus, Barbados, West Indies
2 School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, Northampton, NN2 6JD, UK

© 2015 Bailey et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, Northampton, NN2 6JD, UK; Tel: 01604 893372; Fax: 01604 893071; E-mail:


Enhancing the sustainability of the management of waste from Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) is becoming an increasingly important issue, globally. Using the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus, in Barbados as the case study HEI, and a combination of questionnaires, key informant interviews and waste audits, the study aimed to understand waste management practices on campus, as well as to gain an insight into how waste is managed at the national level. The results suggest that the key challenge facing sustainable waste management at the University and the country in general was limited financial resources. Key motivators for recycling at the UWI were its benefits to keeping the Campus clean and the generation of funds. The major barriers were a lack of motivation, high bin contamination and a lack of knowledge regarding the Recycling Initiative. Bin location had a significant impact on recyclable and contamination levels. Per capita overall and recyclable arisings at the University were 393.93 grams and 308.35 grams respectively. Recommendations included increased education and initiative awareness and strategies to reduce bin contamination. At the national level, increased public awareness programs and involving everyone in the process were key strategies proposed to overcome the challenges.

Keywords: Recycling, university of the West Indies, higher education institutions, sustainable waste management, Barbados.