Motivations and Barriers to Recycling: Toward a Strategy for Public Education

Simmons, D., & Widmar, R. (1990). Motivations and barriers to recycling: Toward a strategy for public education. Journal of Environmental Education, 22, 1, 13-18.

Conducted a study of 500 households to describe some of the forces that encourage recycling behavior. Questionnaire results suggest that recyclers were more likely to hold to a conservation ethic or to feel a sense of responsible action. However, such positive attitudes might not lead to corresponding behavior if individuals professed a lack of knowledge about recycling or that their lifestyle did not warrant recycling. Thus, public education programs should provide a mix of motivations for recycling, as well as methods for overcoming informational and attitudinal barriers.

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