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Household recycling efforts


The recycling efforts of householders is usually viewed as being not significant in scale. In addition, it is often claimed that this contribution, even if significant, does not cost for families, as it is a voluntary.On average, 185 hours is required per tonne of waste. Four out of ten respondents reported that they utilize hot or warm water to wash the material. If we look into the motivations behind sorting out waste, we discover that a majority of people consider sorting to be necessary, while others actually consider it enjoyable in its own right. Moral reasons for sorting at the source are common. 


In recent years, recycling at home has been increasingly seen as a way to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill and to boost the recycling of materials generally. In the majority of high-income countries recycling rates for waste have increased dramatically in the last 15 years. In Norway it is the case that the proportion of household waste used for material recovery grew by 83% to 33 percent during 1992 until 1998 (Statistics Norway, 2000) The government has declared as its intention to have at least 75% of waste will be recycled or recovered by 2010. (Ministry of Environment 1999). The increased use of recycling requires more sorting various waste components by households.

The processes to collect and treat home waste are being enlarged yet opinions remain split on the environmental impact. The amount of extra costs associated with increased recycling at source is uncertain, and it’s not clear to what degree households consider their contribution to the environment as an expense.

In a review of the social cost of the Norwegian waste treatment system, an estimate was made of the amount of time that households devote to the process of sorting garbage (Bruvoll 1998). The amount accounted for a significant part of the total cost of material recycling. This triggered some debate about the worth of the use by households of their time. Some skeptics claimed that household work in sorting was at a high cost and that many people consider sorting to be an important and voluntary act. Therefore, it’s not reasonable to put a price on the process. Also, it was argued that the amount of time used was not enough to have a significant impact on an analysis of cost-benefit.

This article suggests a need for data regarding the amount of time spent sorting out and household attitudes toward this usage. This article will will present the results of a survey of the participants about the amount of time and attitude towards how they handle their waste-sorting. At present, very little information on households’ disposal practices has been made available. Certain studies have estimated the typical time spent cleaning household packaging and waste (Swedish Consumer Agency 1997 and Radetzki 2001).

The present study intend to investigate the additional time consumed by recycling as well as time spent transportation and sorting. Additionally several studies have investigated the motivations behind recycling as well as environmental behavior, which includes demographic variables as well as economic incentives (Vining and al. To better understand the matter we ask a variety of questions regarding the motivation behind sorting waste, attitudes towards expanding sorting systems, and toward delegating the task to others, as well as whether it is worth paying for someone else do the task.

The information in this article were gathered from 1999 Statistics Norway’s Omnibus Survey. This Omnibus Survey includes routine questions concerning various aspects of the background such as gender, age and income, family status, etc. Additionally, questions commissioned by the government are also included. The 2000 participants between the ages of 16 and 79 years was drawn of the Norwegian population in two phases according to Statistics Norway’s sampling method. The net sample, on which we have reported the results, comprises 1162 people, i.e. respondents’ response rates were below 60 percent. Seventy-six percent of the respondents the participants were interviewed in-person in their homes, whereas the rest of the interviews were conducted over the phone.

When interpreting the data below, one must bear in mind that there could be many possible causes of error in surveys such as this. In this case, interviewer bias could be an example important; i.e. respondents might overstate their efforts to recycle to impress the interviewer. It is also possible that recycling initiatives are different for respondents who have refused to take part in our study compared to the actual respondents.

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Jane S. King

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