Door-stepping as a strategy for improved food waste recycling behaviour Evaluation of a full-scale experiment

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Abstract

Comparisons were made between two groups of households in a multi-family residential area in order to investigate how oral information through a door-stepping campaign can influence household food waste recycling behaviour from a quantitative as well as qualitative perspective. Source-separation behaviour was assessed both through weakly weighting of all source-separated food waste and dry recyclables as well as residual waste generated over a period of 104 weeks, as well as repeated waste composition analyses. Introduction of source-separation of food waste for biogas production significantly decreased the generation of residual waste in the whole case-study area. An average generation of 0.72 and 0.71 kg, household(-1), week(-1) of separately collected food waste was found amongst households receiving and not contacted through the door-stepping campaign respectively. The difference between the groups was not statistically significant. Four waste composition analyses show that the average source-separation ratio of food waste was higher and the ratio of incorrectly sorter material lower in the food waste fraction amongst households where oral information had been provided. A decrease over time in the source-separation ratio of food waste amongst households receiving oral information suggests a low durability of the door-stepping campaign. No signs were seen of increased source-separation ratio or decreased ratio of incorrectly sorted material amongst dry recyclables. The study supports previous findings pointing at accessibility as a key factor for increased recycling behaviour. However, results also suggest that such systems must address convenience also in the household interior. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Engineering

Keywords

  • Door-stepping, Information, Recycling, Food waste, Incentives
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-103
JournalResources, Conservation & Recycling
Volume73
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes