Household waste recycling: national survey evidence from Italy
The paper analyses the determinants of household recycling in Italy with particular emphasis on social behaviour. The econometric analysis is based on two waves - 1998 and 2000 - of the Multipurpose Household Survey conducted annually by the Italian Central Statistics Office. In Italy household recycling was substantially voluntary in the years from 1998 to 2000 with no monetary incentives or pecuniary sanctions. Five different materials are investigated: paper, glass, plastic, aluminium and food waste. The results of the probit regressions suggest that membership in organizations, church attendance, the habit of talking politics and reading newspapers are significantly correlated with household recycling behaviour, while gender, age and household income playing the biggest role. Our findings also show that the presence of recycling bins for waste improves household recycling behaviour for all materials whereas difficulty to reach recycling bins adversely affects household recycling outcomes. Household judgments on waste disposal charges have no effect on the recycling effort. As expected, residency in Southern Italy is associated with the lowest probability of recycling all materials.
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