Greening Household Behaviour and Waste

Ruslana Rachel Palatnik, Sharon Brody, Ofira Ayalon, Mordechai Shechter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This report focusses on the determinants of household waste generation, the separation of recyclables and waste prevention behaviours. It presents the econometric results of follow-up analysis of the 2011 OECD Survey on Environmental Policy and Individual Behaviour Change (EPIC). This report
complements the overview of the survey data provided in the publication « Greening Household Behaviour: Overview from the 2011 Survey - Revised edition » (2014).
In general, the results suggest that the most effective policy approach is to combine a pay-as-youthrow (PAYT) waste charge with intensive materials separation services (with the most intensive class of service being door-to-door collection of all separated materials). Yet this policy package is also typically
among the most expensive to implement. Results from the survey imply that households charged for waste collection services via PAYT generate between 16 and 20 per cent less mixed waste, compared to households charged through other means. When separation rates are studied in relation to the presence of
PAYT systems, it is found that households subject to these unit-based charges separate more, suggesting that these charges indeed work in part by channelling more recyclable waste away from the mixed waste stream.
Findings regarding the links between socioeconomic factors and waste generation largely confirm previous studies. Income and household size are both positively related to waste generation. On the other hand, higher-income households are also more likely to separate recyclable materials (though evidently not enough on average to offset their greater waste generation). In addition, whilst larger households produce more waste, per capita generation declines with household size, with each additional person in a household associated with only a 30 per cent increase in waste generation on average. With regard to waste
prevention, the single most important factor predicting waste prevention effort (e.g. composting, adoption of reusable shopping bags) is whether or not individuals belong to environmental organizations. Whether a
household is charged for waste collection via a PAYT system is also a strong and independent predictor of whether individuals engage more frequently in waste prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOECD Environment Working Papers
PublisherOrganisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
Number of pages42
ISBN (Print)1997-0900
StatePublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Greening Household Behaviour and Waste'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this