Interventions Used to Increase Recycling with an Existing Curbside Program

1858 Words Jun 6th, 2006 8 Pages
RUNNING HEAD: INTERVENTIONS USED TO INCREASE RECYCLING

Interventions Used to Increase Recycling with an Existing Curbside Program

Interventions Used to Improve Recycling with an Existing Curbside Program
Today, policy makers and waste management companies have been trying to find new ways to reduce the amount of waste entering the landfills because we are rapidly running out of space for such use. In 2000, U.S. residents and businesses produced more than 221 million tons of waste, which is approximately 4.5 pounds of waste per person per day. However, the amount of waste sent to landfills in 2000 was down 13% from the 1990 total, and the amount of waste recovered in recycling has nearly doubled during the same period (ASCE,
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It has been shown in other studies that education alone will not substantially increase the rate of recycling in residential homes (Goldenhar & Connell, 1991-1992). Instead, people need to be motivated by some other strategy to increase their habits towards recycling.
There have been many attempts to develop effective strategies to produce changes in behavior. One strategy involves the activation of social norms (Schultz, 1998). A norm is a pattern of behavior expected within a particular society in a given situation. Norms are a type of guidance for human behavior. Norms also represent a potential target for interventions designed to change behavior (Schultz, 1998).
Although information strategies are useful, motivation strategies appear to result in higher recycling rates. A potential source of motivation that is focused on for residential recycling is social norms which are beliefs about the behaviors of others. In contrast, personal norms refer to internal self-expectations. Many researchers have found that norms help to determine behavior, particularly when they are activated (Cialdini et al. 1991; Reno, Cialdini, & Kallgren, 1993, Schwartz & Fleishman, 1978)
Activation occurs when the norms are made to stand out in a particular setting. There are many ways to activate norms but the most efficient way is through feedback. Researchers have successfully used feedback as a way to

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