Participation in Household Solid Waste Reduction Activities: The Need for Public Education

Deborah A. Simmons
Ron Widmar

DOI: 10.2190/1LM4-V08T-A60C-1VMP


With landfills quickly reaching their capacities nationwide, public attention has begun to focus on ways of reducing the amount of solid waste produced. In 1985, Somerset County, New Jersey, initiated a pilot recycling program, and made recycling of household wastes mandatory in 1986. Yet even with the power of mandates and the availability of support services such as curbside pick up of recyclables, full participation has not been achieved. A survey was sent to a random sample of Somerset County households to investigate the degree to which various household-level solid waste reduction activities have been adopted by residents. The findings suggest the need for a comprehensive public education program on recycling.

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