- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
China has experienced a rapid growth of solid waste over the years, household waste source-separation is becoming a nationwide strategy for promoting recycling economy and improving urban environmental sustainability. Waste separation, however, may end in failure due to the free-rider problem similarly existing in other pro-environmental collective actions. Along with the economic and sociological/social psychological logic respectively, this study tested the effects of economic incentive and social influence, which are theoretically considered as two general solutions to domestic waste separation dilemma. One hundred and eighty-eight residents in the three communities of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province were assigned to a control group or one of two experimental scenarios, where they were encouraged to participate in waste separation activities through either the economic rewards given on their performance, or door-stepping campaigns aimed at constructing a supportive social environment. Six-month intervention effects were analyzed and showed that economic inducement was more effective than social mobilization in promoting waste separation. Further mediation tests indicated that self-efficacy partially mediated the effects of both strategies, while personal norms were positively associated with two treatments instead of behavior demonstration. In addition, the moderating effects of several sociodemographic factors on psychological mechanisms were also explored. The findings, limitations and implications for future research and policy are discussed in the concluding section.
5. Discussion and conclusions
5.1. Overall effects of two initiatives
As one of few intervention-based studies from an environmental collectivism perspective, this study tested two strategies, namely, economic incentive and social influence, in terms of their effects at facilitating public participation in practices of household waste source-separation. It was found that both of them could promote residential waste separation behavior, whereas the former seemed more effective than the latter. The reason might be that the establishment and individual introjection of social norms cannot be accomplished immediately, and the advantages of social interaction and mobilization might be allowed to shine over a longer period. Therefore, both the economic and sociological/social psychological logics seem applicable to solve the free-rider problem and, hence, prompt individual effort to engage in separating their daily garbage, corroborating earlier research (e.g., Boonrod et al., 2015; Iyer and Kashyap, 2007; Mickael, 2014; Yau, 2010). More importantly, an economic instrument can work more efficiently at an early stage of promoting waste separation based on the findings of this approximately six-month study. However, it is important to remember that cost accounting should be taken into account in the policy decision from a practical point of view. Although it is outside the scope of this article, we mention some important aspects for the sake of completion. For the direct economic cost, while recruitment of community volunteers is much cheaper than purchase of public service from private corporations (37.5 RMB/household month paid for ‘‘Huge”), the latter provides extra services such as solid waste transposition and disposal, which are not covered by social influence approach and can compensate a considerable share of official fiscal expenditure invested in garbage removal, landfill or incineration.