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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 116-121

Effectiveness of Teaching Recycling on the Perception Concept of Recycling in Sixth Grade Female Students

1 Department of Educational Administration, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Environmental Sciences, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication2-Feb-2017

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad A Nadi
Department of Educational Administration, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2423-7752.199287

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Purpose: This study was to determine the effect of teaching recycling on the students’ perception of concept of recycling. Subjects and Methods: The method of this research was about conducting pretest and posttest for experimental and control groups. The sample consisted of 60 sixth-grade girls from district four of Isfahan from a population of 1000 who were systematically randomly selected and randomly placed in the experimental group and control group. The subjects of the experimental group received the necessary training during 8 one-hourly sessions through the educational book of principles and methods of recycling. A researcher-made questionnaire was used in this study. The reliability of the questionnaire was 1 and its validity was 0.809. The collected data were analyzed based on descriptive method (mean, standard deviation, percentage, etc.) and analytical method (analysis of covariance). Result: The findings of this study revealed that teaching recycling had an effect on the perception of the concept of recycling, paper recycling, glass recycling, metal recycling and also on identifying those who help people collect recyclable garbage (P < 0.001). But teaching recycling had no effects on the perception of the concept of garbage and the importance of recycling, plastic and the concept of garbage recycling (P < 0.001).

Keywords: female students, perception of concept, recycling, teaching

How to cite this article:
Nadi MA, Aghaabedi E, Radnezhad H. Effectiveness of Teaching Recycling on the Perception Concept of Recycling in Sixth Grade Female Students. J Earth Environ Health Sci 2016;2:116-21

How to cite this URL:
Nadi MA, Aghaabedi E, Radnezhad H. Effectiveness of Teaching Recycling on the Perception Concept of Recycling in Sixth Grade Female Students. J Earth Environ Health Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2024 Feb 22];2:116-21. Available from: https://www.ijeehs.org/text.asp?2016/2/3/116/199287

  Introduction Top

Education at all levels has a very important role in sustainable development. The most comprehensive definition for sustainable development is an efficient use of all resources for the development of today’s generation and taking into consideration the rights of future generations.[1] In 1992, the first Heads of State conference entitled “Environment and Development Conference” was held in Rio Dejaneiro which put the Environment and Development together and resulted in the formulation of Agenda 21 (a program of development for the 21st century), in which all aspects of development were considered. In Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, entitled “Education Development and Awareness Raising” the importance of the role of education in sustainable development has been discussed.[2] Also, on the agenda for Rio+5 Conference, governments were obliged to support educational institutions for the promotion of education, especially in sustainable development principles.[3] There is no doubt that people of the world will face serious challenges in the 21st century. Training on the goals of sustainable development can play an important role in the correction of the public’s mindset, especially of school and university students and the application of these principles in their life and their professional activities. The main purposes of education are raising the level of understanding, knowledge and ethics in people and increasing their level of responsibility in society.[4]

Therefore, for achieving a sustainable development namely a harmonious development and by keeping environmental values, the development of culture of life in our communities should be considered in a way that the people of the communities adapt their character and behavior to the nature’s dynamicity and sustainability. Sustainable development is achieved when the environmental information is spread among the people and people’s participation in protecting it is doubled.

Without public support, the leap to development would be problematic.[5] Garbage management is of vital importance in the world that has a crucial role in global environment. In industrialized countries, waste management is an extra-territorial activity and it is considered as one of the elements of sustainable development.[6] Also, during the last three decades, waste management model is based on minimizing waste.[7]

There are various ways of garbage disposal in solid waste management. But in today’s world, recycling and reusing have a great importance, because in this way in addition to reducing the volume of waste and preventing more environmental pollution, it leads to reducing expenses, energy, and resources.[8] Recycling reduces the pollution caused by waste incineration, waste burial, and mines. It also leads to less waste burning and burial as well as less raw material digging.[9]

The aim of teaching the present environment is changing people’s attitude toward the environment; based on this, the programs for sustainable development can be pursued more vigorously.[10] The ultimate outcome of environmental education is the creation of the environmental knowledge in people.[11]

In recent years, scientists recognized that the success is not practically possible for the public-related projects such as environmental projects without teaching the public. Therefore, in many of new projects, education is always viewed as one of the important columns of success and significant costs are allocated to it.[12]

Environmental education can begin at a very early stage of childhood. At this stage, children become familiar with nature and man-made environments by the parents, closest family members, community, and neighborhood. Often in some cultures, everyone is trying to share a common philosophy, belief, value systems, patterns of perception, and responsibilities. These cultural patterns have not been considered as personal variables; rather, they try to establish environmental views to harmonize between people and nature.[13]

Therefore, it is essential to educate people about the environment, because it can change people’s intellectual and doctrinal foundations, and evolves their performance, and the prospect of sustainable development can be foreseen based on a proper model.[14],[15]

Training process

In general, training process has three main stages:

  • Planning: It is goal setting, which actually is the foundation for developing a training program.
  • Performance: The necessary operations to achieve the general and specific objectives, that is, the operational training programs, are called performance.
  • Evaluation: At this point, the success rate for achieving goals and probable necessary changes to improve the results of educational activities will be examined.[16]

Training methods

There is no universal method for teaching various subjects in different ways so combination and mixing for group training methods can be used. The most popular method is lecturing in various academic stages. The method of holding conferences has the most attraction in gathering and providing information about the environment. Observation, data gathering, project presentation, etc. are the other practical methods about the environment. Trainers use methods such as project presentations, discussions, essays, and experts’ knowledge to help group research to increase the students’ knowledge and skills.[17]

Regular efforts and coordination should be made to promote environmental culture. Formal and informal education and presenting organized constitutions are some of the efforts in this for protecting the environment. The correct way of waste disposal, conservation of native plants, wildlife, biodiversity, etc. should be taught to them.[18]

Creating opportunities and training programs

Providing the content and creation of training programs for managers, employees, and citizens in the field of recycling of municipal services, with the aim of identifying and selecting the best educational practices at different levels, determining the outline and content of these methods, taking advantage of international experiences in this regard, providing television and educational programs for increasing the public awareness to the waste types and recycling process, separation of waste from the beginning for institutions, etc. are among the policies that would be followed for the implementation of this project.[19]

Culture building

The level of the public awareness and knowledge in recycling should be increased to attract the public participation in separating solid waste materials. That is the correct concept of recycling should be clarified for changing the mindsets. To achieve this important goal, face-to-face training or classes of all ages, media, film, photographs, posters, and banners can be used to complete the power of notification system.[20]

Training in consumption management

Consumption management is a set of ways and activities for optimizing the consuming methods. These methods are usually divided into three groups:

  • The first group: Methods that do not charge any cost, for example, the correct use of equipment and devices and their maintenance.
  • The second group: Methods that cost but the costs are not high (low cost method), such as repair and maintenance of equipment, educational programs on the reduction of energy waste, and so on.
  • The third group: Methods that are costly for bringing fundamental changes to improve energy efficiency, for example, when an old factory is out of date, and also if it is possible and necessary the old machines, it should be replaced by the new ones.[21]

Educational goals

Lack of awareness of social obligations and urbanization especially in the health issues and protection of the environment and misconception of garbage management lead to the performance of the programs of the solid waste management, the cultural and social issues would be taken into consideration, because these issues are in direct relationship with people.[6] Therefore, educating people in this regard will have to follow the following objectives:

  • Promoting public awareness on solid waste management and recycling.
  • Changing consumption patterns in society.
  • Encouraging producing less garbage.
  • Performing the project of separating wet, dry, and burial garbage.
  • Improving the city’s environment and public health conditions.[22]

Education and awareness of the recycling process

The first action in the field is training and awareness building. Organizing training courses and seminars, publishing books, and producing educational films for factory managers and technicians can teach them the correct ways of using the equipment and methods of monitoring and efficient use of energy.

Education increases the level of information and awareness about the advantages of recycling and it has a direct relationship with the public cooperation in the separation project from the beginning. Face-to-face training, public training, training through the media, posters, banners, etc. can change the people’s view toward cooperating in recycling process.[22]

Environmental impact of recycling

The most obvious environmental effect of recycling is conservation of materials.

For example, when secondary fibers are used to produce newsprint, they replace virgin fibers from trees.

Another potential environmental benefit of recycling process is saving energy. In most paper products, saving energy is achieved when waste paper is used as the raw material instead of 100% virgin fibers.

An environmental benefit of recycling, which is less visible, is reduction of mineral waste when the second hand materials are used for manufacturing glass and steel.[23]

Recycling rather than burning or burying of garbage stave off many environmental problems. When the garbage is buried not only it causes environmental problems but also a great national fortune is wasted. On the other hand, burning the garbage causes the release of hanging particles and toxic fumes in the air and increases air pollution. In addition to the environmental benefits, recycling leads to more savings.

For example, a factory that uses waste plastics instead of primary raw materials (granular) is 40–60% cheaper, and this is especially important for developing countries, including our country.[25] This study was to determine the effect of teaching recycling on the students’ perception of concept of recycling.

  Subjects and Methods Top

This research method was experimental and included pretest and posttest with a control group. Conducting pretest and posttest process for control group involves the following steps: (1) randomized placing of subjects in the experimental and control group, (2) conducting the pretest for both groups, (3) conducting the experiment just for the experimental group, and (4) conducting the posttest for both groups.

The way of behaving toward both control and experimental groups should be the same with the exception of the practice of the experiment. For example, both groups should be evaluated simultaneously with the same pretest and posttest.[26] The independent variable in this study included teaching principles and methods of recycling during 8 one-hourly sessions. The dependent variable is the understanding of the recycling concept which was measured in pretest and posttest stages by using the researcher-made questionnaire.

Sixth-grade girls from district four of Isfahan from a population of 1000 who were systematically randomly selected and randomly placed in the experimental group and control group. Sixty students were randomly selected from this population and then randomly placed into control and experimental group (30 students in each group).

Data collection

In this research, a researcher-made questionnaire including 31 questions was used. The first 10 questions were about the concept of garbage and recycling. Questions 11 and 12 dealt with paper recycling. Questions 13–18 were about plastic recycling. Questions 19–21 were about glass recycling. Question 22 was about metal recycling. Questions 23–26 were about helping garbage recycling. And questions 27–31 were about recognizing people who help in garbage recycling. The scale of this questionnaire had five degrees (very much, much, average, little, and very little). Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) test using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 19.

  Results Top

The content of training which included the principles and methods of recycling was taught during 8 one-hourly sessions. The details of this method have mentioned in [Table 1],[Table 2],[Table 3].
Table 1: Summary of the teaching sessions

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Table 2: The results of the mean and standard deviation of the whole signs in two groups after controlling the pretest variable in the posttest level

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Table 3: The result of the covariance analysis of the scores of the whole signs into two groups after controlling the pretest variable in the posttest level

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  Discussion and Conclusion Top

The results of this research open new windows to fundamental attention to basic training in recycling. The results showed that the need for education is more felt in different parts especially in schools and universities.

These findings are somewhat confirming the result of the research by Karimi.[27] According to the findings, the training increases the level of people’s awareness and information about recycling and its advantages; also it has a direct relationship with the people’s cooperation in garbage separation project from the beginning. Face-to-face education, public education, education through the mass media, etc. change the public’s view and attitude and leads their view toward the target which is cooperation in the field of recycling. These findings are also in accordance with the results of the research by Farzadkiya et al.[19] and Dadkhah Tirani.[28] In this research, it has been stated that in the survey on education for recycling, 32% estimated average level for the need for education and 26% evaluated low level for the need for education. Respecting the environment is the result of education and the school’s role in this regard is essential.

Conducting continuous educational program from early ages is necessary for increasing the public knowledge and even in some cases for better recycling of waste. Therefore, the continuity and spreading of such training programs are needed.

Attitude, knowledge, behavior, and underlying factors can affect students’ environmental literacy.[30] Therefore, to achieve a new vision of education in the field of recycling, the following recycling modern methods of teaching (teaching methods) are listed and offered:

Problem-solving methods (active methods of teaching and learning), research, field trips, laboratory methods, pretending techniques, discussion, question and answer, and extracurricular activities including sports and mass activities.[30]

According to the findings, teaching process includes planning, performing, and evaluating. In the correct planning of environmental education, the level of interests and abilities of students, the principles and laws in the science of environment, the sequence of content, the novelty of the subject, developing the fundamental concepts and methods, association with the daily issues, and considering the right time of training should be considered to achieve the goals.[16]

By increasing awareness and knowledge, people’s capability and independence related to their responsibility for environmental protection and recycling are increased. Their flexibility in life and implementing the regulations in the field of the environment protection and recycling have gained momentum, and consequently their level of life improves which is a good motivation for continuing the desired behavior. Although the individual characteristics affect a person’s behavior, creating the ability in implementation of various social programs depends on the people’s level of awareness and knowledge. The following diagram shows this phenomenon:

Giving proper knowledge and information… > Creating ability and responsibility… > Effectiveness of people’s performance.[31]

People’s participation is the most important factor in success of a recycling program, as well as the garbage separation from the beginning. Designing a public training program can ensure and increase the percentage of people’s participation in different programs of recycling.[32]

To attract people’s confidence and participation, the field of confidence-building should be provided.

Increasing the public’s participation in environment protection and recycling requires specialized training. This training should be aimed more at understanding of various recycling materials. Preparation for presenting targeted training for the environmental goals requires the related systems’ participation and effort. On the other hand, removing the barriers that hinder the participation of people is the public relations responsibility. Therefore, creating the correct scientific communication with people is one of the requirements of the implementation of the program.[22]

The results of this research open new windows to fundamental attention to basic training in recycling. The results showed that the need for education is more felt in different parts especially in schools and universities.

From the viewpoint of this researcher it seems that the training in the field of recycling should be dealt with from the early stages of childhood. Since the childhood training has a great impact on building personal and social behavior and it can have a decisive role, the environmental education in this period can have a significant impact. If it is accompanied with practical programs, childhood education can build a strong foundation for the next generation’s knowledge and attention to environmental issues. Doing some projects by groups of students and transferring the training by the children to their parents has a special importance as well.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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