Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

Holley Wilkin

Third Advisor

Rajshekhar Sunderraman

Abstract

Irresponsible dumping of wastes into sewage processes and unmaintained areas not intended for waste processing negatively impacts the surrounding environment and ecosystem homeostasis of the dumpsite. Perhaps one of the most concerning aspects of waste dumping is when the waste, that is improperly disposed as litter, begins to disrupt its local environment, and thus negatively impacting the health of everyone and everything in the relative environment. The overall objective of this capstone project was to develop a user-friendly platform that serves as an educational tool for the public to further improve understanding of waste disposal practices and encourage individuals to work with their communities to take simple steps to establish clean practices in their communities. The project, titled TrashCache, focuses on littering behavior as it contributes to storm drains, which flow directly into waterways. Due to increased popularity in using mobile devices, a mobile approach was produced as a method for distributing the educational material through a mobile-friendly website and social media campaign. A prototype of a mobile application was also developed, which would provide its users with easy access to the educational material, regardless of geographical location and internet availability. Perception of littering behavior was recorded through questionnaires. As a result, the mobile-friendly website and social media campaign were widely accepted and reached over 900 page views, reaching nearly 200 individuals around the United States within a 4 week period. The ever-growing problem of irresponsible waste disposal practice will continue to negatively influence the environment, unless there is more public awareness about this issue.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 30, 2019

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