Restoring the Shine to a Pearl: Recycling Behaviour in Penang, Malaysia
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Despite serious waste management problems in Penang Island, a recycling campaign launched in 2001 has met with little success. This may be because the campaign was not backed up with knowledge about factors that motivate recycling. This article develops a simple economic framework to explain individual recycling behaviour. A logit model that utilizes survey data drawn from a sample of 760 respondents was used to test the insights gained from the framework. As predicted by the framework, recycling was negatively related to factors that increased the private costs of recycling, such as the lack of storage space and low income. Recycling increased among respondents who recognized its benefits: they include the environmentally conscious, those who were aware of the recycling campaign and respondents in the twenty-five to thirty-five year age category. Interestingly, neither gender nor distance to recycling centres were reliable predictors of recycling behaviour.
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