Historical trajectory of waste management; an analysis using the health belief model
Purpose - How were health-based perceptions influenced by dominant public health theories in the historical past to present times and what impact did it have on waste management behaviours? Taking public health as the single most important driver of waste management responses from historic to the contemporary times, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate the waste management practices through the lens of the leading public health constructs and their impacts on the adaptive practices of waste management. The research paper seeks to analyze the historical journey of waste management responses using the theoretical constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM). Design/methodology/approach - The purpose of the research is achieved by conducting an extensive review into the available secondary source-based historic literature on waste. The paper uses qualitative method of research and applies content and text analysis to present the review of literature and establish patterns and co-relations between public health theories, health perceptions and waste behaviours. The HBM is applied in a modified format to evaluate the patterns of waste-based health perceptions and their impacts on adaptive waste management responses. Findings - Based upon a comprehensive review of literature pertaining to the historical aspect of waste management and public health constructs, the paper presents the link between the dominant public health theories, their impacts on waste-based health perceptions and waste management responses through the course of history. The analysis also reveals that while new approaches have been developed and adapted based upon the dominant public health theories, the age old practices and behaviours have not entirely faded away and rather continue to operate till date. Research limitations/implications - The research being under the preview of historical investigation, depends purely upon secondary review of literature to gather such information that shall lead to making an evaluation of health perceptions. As such the limitation of data itself for a thorough analysis is acknowledged. Also since the research setting uses the global context, the literature search found more information from the historic context of the western societies and less from other parts of the world and generalizations are therefore based on this literature. Originality/value - The paper presents a linkage between public health theories, perceptions and waste behaviours with application of the HBM and in doing so it makes a contribution towards understanding the historical journey of waste management responses. In the author's best knowledge the HBM has not been applied in environmental history research of this nature. The application of the HBM, while it has been done in the historical context herein, but it can be visualized that this model holds strength to make an application in contemporary settings to arrive at appropriate waste management policies and strategies.
Management of environmental quality: An International Journal
Land Use and Environmental Planning