An Extensive Analysis of the Survey on Recycling Schemes

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The findings from this study have several implications for future implementation of recycling schemes not only in the specific neighborhoods but also in the city. An overwhelming majority of individuals reported recycling behavior. Through the use of TPB, it is possible to identify the main factors that influence resident’s motivation to recycle. Majority of the respondents listed lack of infrastructure as the main barrier for recycling and listed the need for a two bin system. This finding is consistent with research in Delhi where residents listed insufficient infrastructure as the main reason for not segregating waste (Wadehra & Mishra, 2017). Findings indicate that the residents are in favor of, in fact want, practical awareness campaigns that educate them on how to recycle. This is in accordance with numerous studies that state ‘awareness’ as a key determinant to recycling (De Feo & De Gisi, 2010), x. However, it is important to keep in mind that the highest recyclable item reported was newspapers, followed by glass bottles. Recycling newspapers is a fairly common practice in India and the finding has been supported by other studies as well (Pradhan, 2008) (Mukherji et al. 2016) (Suthar & Singh, 2014). The old age practice of newspaper recycling is not because of the need for an extra income but because in the Indian culture, newspapers, old school books and notebooks are associated with wisdom and learning which are either recycled or passed on to others. Moreover, they can be easily stored for a long period of time and given to a ‘radiwalla’, a waste picker who deals with paper waste, whenever convenient.

Glass bottles were the second most listed recycled items. In this survey, glass bottles mainly refer to water, ketchup, beer, whiskey or other liquor bottles that can be easily recycled. Informal discussions with the respondents revealed that reuse of bottles was only restricted to jars, which were used for storing spices, nuts, homemade chutneys and pickles. Again, the ease of storing such items in the backyard was one of the main motivations for recycling. While a few respondents claim to recycle, an overwhelming number of respondents did not list monetary incentive as one of the main motivations behind recycling. These findings contradict some international studies where economic reasons are listed as one of the main motivation behind recycling activities (Hage et al. 2009). However, this can partly be explained because of the reasonably high economic status of the selected population and the low value of return on sale of recyclables. For this reason, convenience was listed as the main driving force behind recycling. Our findings also support research by Barr et al. (2003) in Exeter, Olle et al. (2009) in Sweden and Davis (2008) in UK. Research in Delhi also found that 54% of the residents surveyed stressed the importance of easily available recycling infrastructure as convenience was considered one of the main influencing factors.. Similar to what other studies have showed, having proper skills (education and awareness), opportunity (infrastructure) and convenience to recycle contributes positively to recycling behavior, confirming that individuals need to feel in control of their ability to recycle. The importance of PBC as a construct suggests that our analysis indicates that perceived behavioral control is strongly related to recycling attitude.

Thus, the findings of the study indicate that the residents are well aware of the negative effects of unsanitary waste disposal yet lack practicing the same. These findings are also supported by (Vivek et al. 2013). It is imperative for cities to deal with waste in a decentralized fashion so that a large portion of waste can be diverted away from landfills. Moreover, building on what has previously been mentioned, it is interesting to note that only two respondents acknowledged rag pickers. However, they were only mentioned for the need to educate them. There is no doubt that rag pickers form an important part of the waste system and in this respect, they are an important segment of the education process. However, none of the respondents mentioned the need to improve their working conditions or recognized the role they play in waste management. Unfortunately, this attitude is consistent with the Indian mindset of the low social status associated with waste pickers.

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