Trash: a local solution to a global problem
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Waste management is a major concern for our world today. Landfills are unsustainable and have serious environmental, social, and economic consequences. To address the issue of waste, cities must design and implement sustainable waste management practices. Our research focuses on the city of Hyattsville, Maryland and the pilot program implemented in January 2010. We used a mixed methods approach to assess the effectiveness of Hyattsville's pilot program in reducing waste, promoting recycling, and changing residents' attitudes towards waste management. We also explored whether trash output is related to income level. Based on data collected on waste and recycling, we found that the pilot program was effective in reducing waste but had no effect on recycling and trash output does not seem to be correlated with income level. Based on an analysis of data from surveys, focus groups, and interviews, we conclude that residents are generally satisfied with the pilot program, but the program can be improved. We provide recommendations for the city of Hyattsville to increase the efficacy of the pilot program.