Theory Of Planned Behavior To Promote Waste Recycling

Theory Of Planned Behavior

Introduction

Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste is one of the major contributors to the overall waste composition in different continents (Poon, 2007; Wang et al., 2016; Tsang et al., 2007). Although waste reduction and material reuse have been promoted via different political tools, for example, the C&D waste disposal charging scheme adopted in Hong Kong In 2005, recycling is of utmost importance in the waste management hierarchy for sustainable use of energy and resources (HK ENB, 2013). 

The recycling rate of C&D waste depends on a range of determinants such as waste management regulations (Lu and Yuan, 2010; Yuan, 2013), employee training (Poon et al., 2004; Lu and Yuan, 2010), and economic concern (Yuan, 2013; Saez et al., 2013). In addition, the attitude and behaviour of individuals toward recycling are important as revealed by factor analysis of municipal solid waste (MSW) management (Ko and Poon, 2009) and investigation of organizational variables on waste management by multilevel analysis (Taberero et al., 2015). 

A better understanding of an individual’s attitudes and behaviour is needed to devise effective strategies for nurturing the community's preference for recycling, which is critical for enhancing the recycling rate (Vermeir and Verbeke, 2006; Mont and Plepys, 2008). Although factors affecting recycling behaviour such as training and supervision within corporates have been acknowledged (Bakshan et al., 2017), the linkage between the intentions and behaviour of individuals was ill-defined in the literature. 

Intentions are the indications of how hard people are willing to try and to what level of effort they are planning to exert, which directly drive and affect one’s behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). Decision-analytical approach from a micro-structural perspective is therefore necessary for understanding the determinants.

2. Methodology 

Development of advanced TPB framework 

An extended TPB was proposed as the fundamental behaviour model in this study, which includes perceived costs, perceived benefits, social values, and behaviour control beliefs under the three main constructs (Attitude, Subjective Norms, and Perceived Behavioural Control) (Fig. 1). These constructs defined the questions prepared for the semi-structured interviews (Section 2.2), because pilot work that is representing our research population is necessary to explain TPB framework with appropriate respondents (Ajzen, 1991).

Semi-structured interviews with construction-related experts 

Semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to-face with eleven professionals, which represented three groups: (1) government officials (Civil Engineering and Development Department and Environmental Protection Department; including Chief Engineer, Senior Engineer, and Engineer); (2) construction-waste-related organizations (Construction Industry Council, Hong Kong Productivity Council, and Hong Kong Waste Management Association; including Principal Consultant, Assistant Director, and Chairman); (3) environmental consultants and contractors (AECOM Asia Company Ltd., ATAL Engineering Ltd., Gammon Construction Ltd., and Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd.; including Directors, Engineer, Senior Site Administrator and Waste Management Consultant).

Questionnaire survey and statistical analysis 

A questionnaire survey with the community was then performed to investigate initiatives that determine the recycling behaviour of different stakeholders on a broader scale after conducting semi-structured interviews. Our questionnaire was established based on the comments and results from semi-structured interviews and consisted of three sections: (1) general views of respondents on recyclables application in Hong Kong; (2) detailed items related to each factor, such as scoring of the importance of recycling value of recyclables under the factor of Economic incentives; (3) demographic characteristics of respondents, including age group, relevant work experience, and occupation.

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