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Re: [GreenYes] Research Request: What motivates people to recycle?
The following message below is a copy of a 12/11/00 message to GreenYes from
John Reindl regarding the question "why do people recycle."

I would also suggest consulting the following report from the Tellus
Institute (
S6-PL01 "Selected Research on Factors Influencing Participation in Recycling
Programs." 1996.
Ligon, Graff.

Finally, I would recommend Frank Ackerman's "Why Do We Recycle" from Island

Roger M. Guttentag
Several months ago, I made inquiries on these email lists for references to
studies on why people recycle. I would now like to return the favor of those
who helped out and share the resources that were found.

First, a number of people sent me bibliographies, which have been compiled
into a list of 90+ articles and studies and I would be glad to send this
list to people electronically

Second, a site of the Norwegian National Institute for Consumer Research was
found with English summaries of a number of studies that they have done on
consumer motivation for a variety of environmental topics, including
recycling. The latest is a study of people's environmental behavior when
shopping, including the use of eco-labels. The site is at

Third, however, and perhaps most beneficial is a web page on Fostering
Sustainable Development by Professor Doug McKenzie-Mohr, who is the
co-author of a 1999 book of the same title. The site not only has an
extensive summary of his book, but also has an extensive database of nearly
900 articles on motivating environmental behavior change (including 100 on
recycling, 31 on source reduction, etc) and a database of 43 case studies on
changing people's environmental behavior. In addition, it has a forum for
people to ask questions and share experiences. The site is at

With Holiday Wishes to everyone,

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI

----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Sheehan <>
To: GreenYesL <>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 9:33 AM
Subject: [GreenYes] Research Request: What motivates people to recycle?

> [forwarded from a colleague; respond to list:]
> I am looking for literature that quantitatively addresses the
> question, "What motivates people to recycle?"
> That is, to what extent can monetary incentives, convenience,
> environmental awareness, etc. be expected to trigger
> participation in recycling programs? I realize this question
> quickly becomes complex and that objective answers are
> ellusive.  I want to review the literature on how researchers
> have attempted to answer it and what kind of conclusions
> they've reached.

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