Information strategy failure: personal interaction success, in urban residential food waste segregation

Y.C. Dai, Z.Y. Lin, C.J. Li, D.Y. Xu, Wenfang Huang, Marie Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direct measurements were taken of residential food waste sorting in a sample from over 5000 communities (5 million households) assigned to a pilot program delivered by government branches in Shanghai which relied on an information strategy for implementation. The results are compared to a population of N=36 similar communities (36,000 households) assigned to a different program which involved considerable personal interaction. The results show that the information–based program communities did not noticeably sort their waste, whereas those given personal interaction approaches were very successful, with purity rates of 95%(8) and extra costs of about 50 RMB (8 USD) per household. This is a rare direct comparison of two different programs at such large scales, 6-36 months after launch, and suggests that personal interaction approaches should be considered by policy makers. Qualitative key informant interviews yielded data on each program’s activities, which provide suggestions for further studies of the underlying behaviour change determinants involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-309
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberpart A
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


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