Article

Recycling in multi-family dwellings: Increasing participation and decreasing contamination

Population and Environment (Impact Factor: 1.46). 01/1995; 16(3). DOI: 10.1007/BF02331920
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT This study explored the promotion of recycling in multi-family dwellings. An experimental design investigated four behavior change techniques: biweekly postcards giving specific feedback to each dwelling unit as to quantity and contamination of the recyclables, newsletters giving general information on recycling and the amount recycled by the city as a whole, written pledges committing households to recycle for a specified period, and volunteer coordinators who distributed information and answered questions from residents. The effectiveness of these techniques was compared against that of a control group. The findings suggest that volunteer coordinators are not an effective intervention technique in multi-family dwellings, and that feedback and commitment techniques are useful mainly for managing contamination in medium sized complexes. The data also suggest that the size of a multi-family dwelling complex significantly affects the amount of recyclables collected and the level of contamination. Smaller complexes with less than ten units recycled up to three times the amount on a per unit basis as complexes with more units. Smaller units also had fewer problems with contamination in their recyclables. Several explanations are offered for the poor participation and performance in larger complexes. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/43482/1/11111_2006_Article_BF02331920.pdf

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Dec 31, 2013
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    • "Waste recycling in residential buildings in a high-rise high-density context is largely omitted in the literature. Given the general consensus that waste recycling by households in a multi-family housing, particularly in high-rise housing estates, is challenging (De Young et al., 1995; Ooi, 2005), it is worthwhile studying the determinants of waste recycling behaviour in this housing type. Therefore, this paper aims to explore the factors affecting waste recycling behaviour in private high-rise multi-storey residential buildings in Hong Kong. "
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    ABSTRACT: Efficacy of waste recycling is closely associated with the environmental sustainability of a city. However, just like many other environmental protection initiatives, waste recycling requires stakeholder engagement to succeed. Exploring determinants of waste recycling behaviour helps policy-makers to formulate schemes to promote recycling effectively. While most literature has studied the factors affecting waste recycling in low-rise low-density housing, little ink has been spilt on the same in a high-rise high-density residential setting. In this paper, the determinants of the amount of recyclables collected in 122 private high-rise housing estates in Hong Kong are investigated, with the use of a set of aggregate data. Household income, age and institution of regular reward schemes were found to have positive relationships with the amount of recyclable collected. Despite the optimism among some scholars about more conveniently located waste drop-off facilities as a motivator for waste recycling, the analysis results of this empirical study suggest that a floor-based system of waste separation facilities is by itself not likely to be effective in promoting domestic waste recycling in high-rises. To tackle the contemporary waste problem for the city’s sustainable development, resorts should be made to more intensified environmental education and economic incentives.
    Sustainable Development 03/2012; 20(2):115-127. DOI:10.1002/sd.468 · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    • "In particular, whether economic incentives promote waste recycling behaviour in a high-rise setting is examined. Research of this kind is in need because while waste recycling by households in a multi-family housing, particularly in high-rise housing estates, has been regarded challenging (De Young et al., 1995; Ooi, 2005), determination of recycling behaviour in such setting is largely omitted in the literature. Hong Kong, in which 80% of the total housing stock are high-rises, provides an excellent laboratory for studying collective environmental action like recycling in a high-rise high-density context. "
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    ABSTRACT: Efficacy of waste recycling is one of the key determinants of environmental sustainability of a city. Like other pro-environmental activities, waste recycling cannot be successfully accomplished by just one or two people, but only by a concerted effort of the community. The collective-action dilemma creates a common underlying difficulty in formulating workable solutions to many environmental problems. With a view to the non-excludability of the outcome, rationality drives people to free-ride efforts of others in waste recycling. To solve this free-rider problem, some scholars suggest the use of economic incentive. This article attempts to study the impacts of reward schemes on waste recycling behaviour of residents in 122 private housing estates in Hong Kong. The study is differentiable from the others as the latter mainly focus on domestic waste recycling in low-rise low-density housing while this one looks into the same in a high-rise high-density residential setting. According to the results of analyses on a set of aggregate data, reward schemes are found to have a significant positive relationship with the per-household weight of recyclables collected, keeping other things constant. The research findings suggest that economic incentives do work in promoting waste recycling in Hong Kong. Practical and policy implications follow.
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