Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Ann Thompson

Second Advisor

Ana-Paula Correia

Third Advisor

Jackie Blount


This study aims to deepen our understanding of the policy and educational approaches within the Seattle, Washington residential recycling program. Through an analysis of Seattle's policy approaches and the role of education, this study makes recommendations for both its improvement and other communities looking to bolster and or implement their own recycling program. To guide the recommendations, it was necessary to find how a recycling program can target a broad audience to create more awareness and reach those in the community that have not been involved. Straughan (1999) noted that the success of a community's' recycling program relies on the effectiveness of its citizenry's knowledge and education on recycling. Using instructional design as the lens of analysis, this study investigated how Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) used electronic and paper-based educational materials to informally educate the community about recycling within the Seattle recycling program. This study also analyzed the policy approaches of Seattle's formal and informal practices (such as city legislature) constructed to prioritize recycling within the city. The policy analysis revealed Seattle's major policy approaches are focused in the policy areas of operations, administration, and finance and are key to Seattle's recycling program and Seattle's continued success in waste-stream diversion. The results of the content analysis revealed that the educational documents and materials have a strong educational purpose. Recommendations for policy suggest communities looking to strengthen or augment their current practices could focus on the areas of operations, administration, and finance when considering direction for policy options to fit their own community's needs. Education-related recommendations for communities suggest creating informal educational documents and materials making use of and following sound instructional and visual design principles. Education-related recommendations for Seattle include communicating the users' participation in the city's recycling program as benefiting not only them, but also a larger audience.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ryan Joel Six



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

158 pages