Formal Research Proposal

To : Dr. Erika Paterson
From : Zhe Su
Date : June 27, 2020
Subject : Promoting Garbage Classification Policy in a Community in China


Rubbish and waste can cause water and air pollution. In particular, rotting garbage is widely known to produce harmful gases that can mix with the air, thereby causing breathing problems in people. Thus, it is necessary to implement waste management and recycling for the purpose of the protection of the environment and the health of the population. The prior condition of waste management and recycling is that we can carry on a right garbage classification. The classification means putting garbage into different waste containers so that they can become new resources upon various ways of cleaning and recycling. Garbage classification policy has been implemented for decades in many developed countries, but comes into operation in only several cities of China in recent two years. Despite many advantages of garbage classification, urban governments find it difficult to promote garbage classification in communities, as people are already used to put all kinds of garbage into one waste container. Urban governments are required to adjust their strategies to effectively promote garbage classification policy in communities.

Statement of Problem

Several thousand years ago, humans just dug holes to bury their waste. This was an efficient way for these early people as their population was relatively small. Moreover, they did not produce waste on the same scale or with the levels of complexity that modern humans do. Burying the waste was able to help prevent rodents and bugs from becoming a nuisance and spreading diseases.
In today’s world, burying all of our waste is not a sustainable way. Modern humans can produce much larger amounts of waste, most of which cannot be degraded even in several years. In addition, many kinds of waste can cause serious pollution on the soil, rivers, and air. Therefore, waste management and recycling are necessary in the modern world. Implementing garbage classification is the first step to carry out waste management and recycling.

Garbage classification policy has come into effect in several cities in China in recent two years. However, most citizens in communities cannot well adapt to the new policy as expected. Some citizens generally do not have good concept of classifying rubbish and do not know why we need to put rubbish into separate bins. Some citizens do not know how to classify rubbish into recyclables, kitchen waste, hazardous waste, and other waste. Some just cannot be bothered to classify rubbish as it is too much like hard work. It is particularly important for urban governments to investigate the main reason of why the new policy is not well promoted so that targeted measures can be developed.

Proposed Solution

For the purpose promote the garbage classification policy in communities, we should first get to know the main reason of why citizens cannot well follow the new policy. If the main reason is that citizens do not know the importance of garbage classification, urban governments should spread the benefits of garbage classification through various medias, including newspapers, TV, and the internet. If the main reason is that citizens do not know how to classify rubbish, the governments can employ new technology, such as classifying rubbish by taking photos with smart phones. This will reduce the learning costs about how to classify rubbish and enable citizens adapt to the new policy more quickly. If the main reason is that citizens cannot be bothered to classify rubbish, other measures including “reward and punishment” programs can be adopted as well. Nevertheless, there may be another main reason or multiple main reasons, therefore, targeted measures depend on the reasons of why citizens cannot well follow the new policy.


To assess the feasibility of the proposed solutions, I intend to focus on the following questions:

1. What is the frequency of throwing rubbish for common citizens? And how they deal with different kinds of rubbish at current?
2. What are the main reasons of most citizens cannot follow the garbage classification policy?
3. What are the citizens’ concerns about garbage classification? For example, they may reluctantly put more kinds of waste containers in their own departments.
4. What are the main accesses to information resources of citizens, especially the bulletins from the government?
5. Whether or not the citizens have a smart phone and if they have got used to use it?


I will gather information and feedback from online questionnaire survey as well as face-to-face interviews to find out an appropriate measure to promote garbage classification policy in communities.

My Qualifications

My family has been in a community since I was born, thus I am familiar with community life. Nowadays, the government also promotes garbage classification policy in our community. This is a good chance for me to investigate the opinions of citizens on the new policy and find out an optimal way to promote the new policy. In addition, I also have experience on face-to-face interviews as well as online questionnaires. Thus, I believe I am qualified to conduct this work.


The primary audience of this research proposal is the urban government of my current community. Results from this work can help the urban government develop targeted measures to effectively promote the garbage classification policy.


A new policy from the government is usually designed for the well-being of citizens. However, citizens sometimes may not understand the advantages of the new policy and follow the new policy. In this case, the government must question itself on how it can well promote the new policy without bothering the citizens. By listening to citizens‘ views, the government is able to develop an optimal way to promote a new policy, such as the garbage classification policy in this work, thereby benefiting the citizens.

One comment on “Formal Research Proposal
  1. erikapaterson says:

    Thank you for posting your research proposal. The first and most important questions is – who your reader(s) is? Name(s) and position and why this person(s) has the authority to act on your final recommendations?

    • Far too much information – the history of garbage disposal is not necessary. With professional and technical writing keep the information to what is essential – do not tell your reader what they already know. Please study the example below
    • Who do you plan to interview?

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