Why doorstepping can increase household waste recycling

Y.C. Dai, M.P.R Gordon, J.Y. Ye, D.Y. Xu, Z.Y. Lin, N.K.L Robinson, Ryan Woodard, Marie Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we report on a doorstepping intervention which produced a 12.5%, statistically significant,increase in the recycling capture rate. More importantly, we investigate why doorstepping caused theincrease, through focus groups, structured interviews and questionnaires. By analyzing the findings withrespect to a pragmatic set of eleven clusters of determinants of behaviour change, we find that socialnorms and emotion were important, with prompts as a more minor determinant. We can now planfurther doorstepping knowing an emphasis on these is useful. Knowledge, skills, belief of consequences,belief of capability, action planning, role clarification, feedback, and motivation were determinant clusters found not to be important in this case. Recycling behaviour change interventions often do not generally produce transferable learning becausethey are usually presented as case studies and not broken down into key elements. Our analytica lapproach of breaking down a poorly defined activity - doorstepping - into elements which influencedifferent clusters of determinants, and then exploring their separate impacts, allows some predictiveplanning and optimization for other interventions. The specific context here was residential food wasterecycling in apartment blocks of communities in Shanghai, China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Doorstepping
  • Pro-environmental
  • Behavior change
  • Food waste
  • Recycling
  • Apartments


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