Amanda Patrick

Document Type

Honors Thesis


As epidemic-type mathematical models have been previously used to study diseases, rumors and behaviors, their application will be further applied to study recycling influence. The types of influences taken into account were recyclers influencing non- recyclers to recycle, recyclers influencing other recyclers to quit recycling (recycling discouragement), and advertisements influencing non-recyclers to recycle. Generally, autonomous differential equations can be analyzed by calculating the equilibrium solutions and finding the eigenvalues to determine stability. The recycling population at UTA was modeled for constant and changing population. The average population increase and decrease were calculated for the system with constant population to calculate stability, and for a more accurate representation, a linear equation was calculated for changing population. Surveys were used to calculate parameters for advertisement influence and social influence between recyclers and non-recyclers. The parameters were manipulated, and each system was solved for number of recyclers and non-recyclers throughout time. The results showed a decline in recyclers with lower recycling discouragement as opposed to when it was zero even with advertisement influence parameter doubled. Additionally, a lower value for the parameter regarding recyclers influence on non-recyclers and a higher value for recycling discouragement caused non-recyclers to become the larger subpopulation as time increased.

Publication Date






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