Nearest neighbour effects in kerbside household waste recycling

Shaw, Peter J. (2008) Nearest neighbour effects in kerbside household waste recycling. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 52, (5), 775-784. (doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2007.11.004).


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Although the factors influencing householders’ kerbside recycling behaviour are generally well understood, our understanding derives primarily from research that has considered households or householders as discrete, individual entities. Relatively little is known of whether and how the recycling behaviour of discrete households is influenced by social interactions with other households in close proximity, such as immediate neighbours. This study aimed therefore to assess social interaction effects on householders’ recycling behaviour at the level of immediate neighbours. Quantification of nearest neighbour interactions involved first the construction of a model to produce repeated randomly-allocated distributions of recycling participants. Spatial distributions of both modelled and observed kerbside recyclers were then enumerated in terms of the numbers of recycling households located between two neighbouring recycling participants, normalized to the number of houses in contiguous blocks and the number of participating households. Comparison of observations to model outputs showed that recycling households were more clustered than for randomly-modelled distributions in relatively few cases. Positive clustering effects were more common for contiguous cul-de-sac blocks than for linearly-oriented blocks of similar size. Clustering also diminished as numbers of houses in linear contiguous blocks increased. The study concluded that the potential for enhancing kerbside recycling by invoking social interactions and norms may be limited due to (1) the low frequency of social interactions between householders and (2) the influence of street architecture on social interactions.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2007.11.004
ISSNs: 0921-3449 (print)
Keywords: household waste, kerbside recycling, nearest neighbours, social impact
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 52646
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
March 2008Published
21 December 2007Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:31

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