Recycling behaviour and attitude: The case of the hong kong people and commercial and household wastes

S. S. Chung, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The increasing environmental awareness caused by the green movement has led to changes in attitude towards our traditionally wasteful society. Recent surveys in Hong Kong have shown that waste recycling has gained increasing verbal support among its citizens. This paper reports on recent findings which reveals that some discrepancies exist between people’s attitude and behaviour towards waste recycling. The implication of this phenomenon on how and when a waste recycling policy should be carried out is considerable. Two major types of barriers to waste recycling and reduction were evident.Technical barriers to recycling included lack of appropriate information, lack of conveniendy located bins and of temporary storage space, whilst the most critical barrier to paper waste recycling was the presence of non-recyclable materials in some paper items. Psychological barriers included the attitude of being troubled, and that too litde waste was involved to be worth the effort. Technical barriers were found to dominate in commercial paper waste recycling, and can usually be overcome while psychological barriers were more significant in household waste recycling and are more difficult to solve. Thus, it might be concluded that, if a large scale household waste recycling programme were in place in Hong Kong, more effort should be devoted towards educating the public, to eliminate as many psychological barriers as possible. Findings from attitude surveys on recycling can provide valuable information for policy makers. However, a review of the literature indicates that findings from attitudinal and self-reported behavioural surveys may exaggerate the proportion of those who have a favourable attitude towards the surveyed subject matter. Thus, it is prudent for policy makers to consider the response rate of the surveys also.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-145
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1994

Keywords

  • Commercial waste
  • Diversion rate
  • Hong Kong
  • Household waste
  • Participation rate
  • Recycling attitudes
  • Recycling behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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