Demonstrating the need for the development of internal research capacity: Understanding recycling participation using the Theory of Planned Behaviour in West Oxfordshire, UK
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Many UK local authorities, looking to meet their regulatory recycling targets, have opted for voluntary kerbside collection schemes for source segregated recyclables from households. The success of a recycling service is highly dependant on the number of people who participate in the service and the frequency of its use. High participation rates are therefore an essential component of any effective kerbside collection scheme. It is commonly accepted that recycling behaviour is strongly influenced and motivated by personal opinions as well as external issues such as access and convenience. This paper characterises the recycling attitudes within West Oxfordshire, UK, and compares them with the results from a previous study conducted during 2003 in Brixworth, in Daventry, UK. From 1st April 2004, West Oxfordshire District Council, expanded its kerbside collection scheme for dry recyclables, adding cardboard, batteries, aerosols and mixed plastics to the already collected recyclables (paper, glass, textiles and metals) and increasing the frequency from fortnightly to weekly In this study, the recycling attitudes and behaviour of a cross-sectional socio-economic sample from households from West Oxfordshire, is investigated. It is observed that the propensity to recycle varies between individuals and socio-economic areas, and that recycling is influenced by concern for future generations, the need to bury less waste in landfills, and the fact that recycling saves resources and protects the environment. The results from this study can be used to help inform local authorities who are considering the development of their recycling schemes and associated promotional campaigns based on an understanding of their socio-demographic profile.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling