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Title: Kerbside enthusiasm : the determinants of voluntary waste separation effort in Malta
Authors: Briguglio, Marie
Keywords: Refuse collection -- Case studies -- Malta
Refuse and refuse disposal -- Malta
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics
Citation: Briguglio, M. (2012). Kerbside enthusiasm : the determinants of voluntary waste separation efforts by households in Malta. The Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics (SABE), Granada.
Abstract: This paper applies theoretical insights from environmental and behavioural economics to analyze the determinants of voluntary participation in a waste separation scheme in Malta. The application offers a rare opportunity to examine purely voluntary environmental behaviour in the absence of incentives (indeed in the presence of disincentives): households voluntarily sorted, stored and paid for weekly kerbside collection of recyclable waste, even though the collection of un-separated municipal solid waste continued to be offered free of charge on a quasi-daily basis – also at the kerbside. A model is specified and empirically estimated using a rich panel data set including kilograms of separated waste collected across all municipalities in the island of Malta over 86 weeks. The findings reveal that initial preferences/constraints together with the variations in policy design may have created the conditions that generated the variation in observed voluntary waste separation effort. The findings also confirm, inter alia, that favourable sentiment towards government constitutes an important initial condition that can be associated with higher voluntary environmental effort.
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