Determinants of Recycling Behavior: A Synthesis of Research Results

Hornik, J., Cherian, J., Madansky, M., & Narayana, C. (1995). Determinants of recycling behavior: A synthesis of research results. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 24, 1, 105-127.

Variables affecting consumer recycling behavior are classified into four theoretical groups: intrinsic & extrinsic incentives, & internal & external facilitators. These clusters of variables, taken from 67 empirical studies, are meta-analyzed, revealing that the strongest predictors of recycling are internal facilitators: specifically, consumer knowledge & commitment to recycling best predict propensity to recycle. External incentives - in particular, monetary rewards & social influence - are the next best predictors, along with frequency of collection. These relationships are further examined to isolate the impact of moderator variables in the studies reviewed: date of study, sample size, & mode of data collection. Based on the results, a model is proposed, & practical implications for motivating consumer participation in waste separation programs are outlined. 2 Tables, 2 Figures, 1 Appendix, 39 References. Adapted from the source document.

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