Recycling Analysis


With the National Park Service (NPS) waste diversion goal being 50%, national parks must adapt and find new ways to prevent waste from ending up in landfills. Glacier National Park’s (GNP) current waste diversion rate is at 19%, indicating that improvement is needed to be more sustainable and reach goals set by the NPS. While GNP is committed to the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste through programs such as the Leave No Trace (LNT) initiative, and prohibiting plastic water bottle sales, there are still opportunities to improve the waste management system and help the park increase its waste diversion rate.

In 2020, a WPI team investigated different methods of visitor outreach and education to improve Glacier National Park’s (GNP) waste management system. The methods investigated were based around the promotion of source reduction, reuse, and visitor recycling practices. The team focused on developing recommendations for recycling resources within the park, pre-trip education, and content available on GNP’s website.



In addition, the WPI team created templates for printed posters and brochures for disseminating recycling and sustainability information on the ground throughout the park. The team also created an infographic as well as an ArcGIS map to implement into an email-based reservation outreach system to educate visitors about recycling and sustainable practices before they come to the park. Finally, through web analytics, the WPI team analyzed GNPs website to provide recommendations on how to include more accessible sustainability and recycling information for park visitors.