To recycle or not to recycle: not for you to decide?

For my Statistics class I decided to work on a topic which really worries me – recycling 🙂

There’s so much statistical data available for NYC – for free (if you’d come from Russia, you’d know that it’s just a luxury to have all these datasets at your disposal anytime). Detailed data is also available on recycling, up to the Community District level. I took the data from the NYC Department of Sanitation web-page on Recycling. There’s also this superwonderful NYC Open Data Portal, oh, so much information.

My first idea was to correlate the recycling rate with social and economic characteristics of the community districts – and they were (wow!) also available at the NYC Department of City Planning web-site.

I thought my idea was superfresh, but then I’ve found this page. It’s difficult to be a pioneer these days.

However. Still compiled my datafile and started correlating everything with everything 🙂 Strange thing: the soc/ec data correlated perfectly with garbage data in 2009/2010, however, in 2013/2014 the relationship appeared to be barely moderate… Maybe I just proved the effect of institutions and policies – the NYC recycling plan seems to be effectively repressing the ‘natural’ desire of NYC residents to recycle or not to recycle.

 


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