Analyzing the Effectiveness of Signage

By Daniel Noakes

How much of an affect does appropriate signage have on the recycling practices of students?

The ART on ART team has taken on the task of looking into how effective signage is in regards to recycling programs across the UCLA campus. As mentioned previously in a blog post by teammate Jennifer Truong, the Recycling Action Research Team of 2011 surveyed students, revealing that the majority of students were confused by signage on recycling bins on campus. To remedy this issue, the 2012 ASUCLA team designed new signage to be used for these bins. Some of these new signs have been put into place, but the old signage still remains on the majority of bins around campus. This led our team to take a closer look at the role of effective signage. We will soon be performing a waste audit to compare the amount of improperly disposed waste in bins with the old signage as compared to bins with the new signage.

In addition to this waste audit, we have also begun to analyze signage across dormitories on the Hill. So far, after going through Dykstra Hall floor by floor, we found a significant dearth of signage regarding anything sustainability related. We found that less than half of the floors had any signage at all, and the floors that did only had this sign posted above a waste receptacle in their floor lounge:

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As we continue to look into signage in dormitories, we hope to find that other buildings have done a better job than Dykstra Hall. But if we find other buildings to have as bad of signage as Dykstra, an improvement in signage could be a huge way to improve sustainability practices.

 So how effective is signage? And if it does have a large effect, emphasis should be placed on putting sufficient and clear signage throughout UCLA’s campus to assist in our UC-wide zero waste to landfill by 2020 goal.