A Comparison of Two Measures of Reuse and Recycling Behavior: Self-Report and Material Culture

Victor Corral Verdugo
Gerardo Bernache
Lilia Encinas
Lydia C. Garibaldi

DOI: 10.2190/EJP5-56TU-0G9U-FUJL


Reuse and recycling patterns of fifty Mexican families were studied. Such patterns were assessed from 1) the hands-on recording of the presence of reusable and recyclable items in the garbage discarded by a sample of families (their material culture) and 2) the analysis of self-reports given by housewives regarding their reuse or recycling practices. A comparison of the two types of data obtained was made by using regression analyses, which revealed a non-significant correlation between most of the self-reported reuse/recycle activities and the material record of the actual presence of reusable/recyclable products in trash samples. Then, a confirmatory factor analysis of both indicators of reusing and recycling revealed that each method measures a different construct. These two constructs seem to be independent since their statistical correlation is frail and non-significant. A discussion of the nature of such constructs is developed, and the significance of these findings is considered.

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