An Evaluation of the Public Response to a Community Recycling Education Program

Vining, J. & Ebreo, A. (1989). An evaluation of the public response to a community recycling education program. Society and Natural Resources, 2, 23-36.

Conserving resources and reducing the volume of garbage that must be incinerated or stored in landfills through recycling has become a major priority for many communities. Educational campaigns are often used to inform the public and induce recycling behavior. However, research evaluating the success of these campaigns has focused primarily on recycling behavior and not on cognitive factors such as awareness or motivation which may precede or accompany the behavior. This study evaluated the effects of a recycling education campaign on residents knowledge of recycling issues, motives to recycle, and recycling behavior. Residents of a Mid-western community were surveyed before and after implementation of a three-year recycling education program. A comparison of pre- and post-program survey results indicated that residents knowledge of recycling issues was more accurate, their motives reflected greater concern for the environment, and their recycling behavior increased after the education campaign.

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