The Dominican Republic generates 14,000 tons of solid waste daily, 49% of this is recyclable, but only 5% is. This waste is causing health problems, affecting the tourism industry, and the quality of life of its residents. Problems of confusion, lack of motivation, and lack of prioritization of the activity, affect the decision-making process when recycling.

What if there was a way to motivate the Dominican population to recycle, and change the behavior towards this activity? Children learn new behaviors faster than adults. Why not use this opportunity to incorporate the engaging factor of design and technology to help improve the motivation level of the Dominican society, with the help of children as the promoters of good recycling habits?

To educate, motivate, and engage children and adults to actively recycle, a mobile application can be used throughout the country to raise recycling awareness memorably. This thesis explores behavioral design methods and the use of gamification and Augmented Reality to engage children with the application. The solution rewards real-world recycling actions and allows children to transform recycled materials into energy for virtual robots.

The application provides tips on how to separate and dispose of scanned materials. Users can share their knowledge with other children and adults, which can result in hopes of building a virtual recycling community. When using the application, children will be able to make recycling a habit, by implementing their learnings from interacting with the platform and integrate recycling into their life and its value to become a lifelong habit.

The final solution highlights the primary interactions of the mobile application in a demo format, built based off of feedback from primary user groups and design peers. This prototype demonstrates how design can be used to best leverage the full capabilities of mobile technology to affect real-world change.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Recycling (Waste, etc.)--Dominican Republic--Interactive multimedia--Design; Human ecology--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Interactive multimedia--Design; Mobile apps--Development

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Adam Smith

Advisor/Committee Member

Miguel Cardona

Advisor/Committee Member

Chris Jackson


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes