WIT Press

Households Sorting Behaviour


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X Delache & C Lagarenne


Household waste sorting has a significant impact on the economic efficiency of household waste treatment systems. Up to now, households waste sorting traduces primarily a \“spontaneous” or \“civic’’ behavior. Cities provide significant efforts of information to improve this behaviour. Sorting supply set up by city, and their costs, are not studied here; nevertheless, the study takes account of the quality of sorting supply to explain sorting behaviours: kerbside collection, separate collection by voluntary deposit in glass and paper containers, lack of local separate sorting. At the beginning of 1998, 28 % of households did not sort their waste, and 20% regularly sorted plastic, 24 % sorted used battery, 36 % sorted paper and 64 % sorted glass. For glass, paper and plastic, percentage of people sorting vary with the sorting supply by local communities: when households benefit from kerbside collection, sorting rates are 40 % for plastic, 60 % for paper and 76 % for glass. For households having a system of kerbside collection, the principal determinant of sorting behaviours are housing type and occupation status (rent or own): sorting is stronger in individual houses than in collective housing; owners tend to sort more frequently than tenants. Household expenses to sort their waste are not known; but, bin bags and waste containers collection expenditures are 300 million Euros in 1999, following an annual increase of 3,4 % since 1990. Behaviours of \“green consumption” or sensitivity to the environment declared by households do not seem to have any influence on the behaviours of sorting for glass, paper or plastic. 1 Introduction This study describes the principal determinants of households sorting behaviour; it aims to highlight which socio-demographic characteristics and environmental attitudes lead to more sorting. It is based on a survey conducted by the National