A large, successful, residential food waste sorting (recycling) program in urban high-density housing was studied to elicit perceptions of the key elements of its success. An embedded mixed-methods approach was used with rigorous quantitative measures of weights and compositions of the waste to confirm the success of the program, combined with in-depth semi-structured interviews of stakeholders to reveal their opinions of the elements key for success. The program produced a 70% food waste capture rate slowly decreasing to 45% over 54 weeks, with <1% contamination. The key elements for success were found to relate to clarification of roles and responsibilities, and the usefulness of a ‘broker’ (here, an NGO) to co-develop new boundaries for stakeholder responsibilities. Residents who acknowledged their responsibility to sort their waste viewed it as civic duty, but first needed to be convinced of the serious intention of the local government to implement the policy. Residents with strong relationships with the local government – e.g. due to greater ongoing interactions – were perceived to perform better. The use of volunteers to demonstrate and interact on a personal level with residents was seen as a key element. The three month period of volunteer involvement was seen as key to good habit forming
Bibliographical note© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- School of Computing, Engineering & Maths - Professor of Sustainable Waste Mngmt
- Values and Sustainability Research and Enterprise Group