Author(s): Raymond J Gamba, Stuart Oskamp
Commingled curbside recycling, a system where household residents put all recyclable materials in one container, is a new form of recycling that has been initiated to decrease the amount of household waste sent to landfills. In a suburb with a new commingled program, a mail survey of environmental and recycling attitudes was sent to 603 households with a 76% response rate. Observations of actual recycling behavior showed a 68% average participation rate on five successive collection days, with a total participation rate of 91% over that period. Based on these observations, the level of self-reported participation was slightly overstated. Relevant recycling knowledge was the most significant predictor of observed recycling behavior, and content-specific motivations for or against recycling discriminated between frequent and infrequent recyclers. Relevant recycling knowledge and a few specific attitudinal measures were significant predictors of self-reported recycling behavior.