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The mechanism of household waste sorting behaviour- a study of Jiaxing, China


Liu, Q and Xu, Q and Shen, X and Chen, B and Sadeghian Esfahani, S, The mechanism of household waste sorting behaviour- a study of Jiaxing, China, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, (4) Article 2447. ISSN 1660-4601 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph19042447


Economic growth and rapid urbanization have resulted in various urban issues related to sustainable development in emerging economies such as China. Nowadays, two-thirds of China’s cities are besieged by waste and one-fourth of the cities have no space to build landfills. China is embarking on a top-down waste sorting revolution, in which residents’ awareness and behaviour of participation are fundamental to the success of garbage classification. The purpose of this paper is to understand residents’ waste sorting behaviour and identify the influencing factors in China. The subjects of this study are urban and rural residents in Jiaxing, where local government has begun to encourage waste classification but has not yet legalized it. With the integration of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and value-belief-norm theory (NAM), this study represents a "motivation-intention-behaviour" theoretical model for the systemic illustration of the antecedents of household waste sorting behaviour. A total of 541 questionnaires were administered in person in households in Jiaxing, China. Structural equation modelling with partial least squares was applied to analyse empirically. The results show that attitudes (ATT), subjective norm (SN), and perceived behavioural control (PBC) have a significant positive effect on the intention of household waste sorting (WSI), and the perceived policy effectiveness (PPE) has a positive and significant effect on the attitudes and waste sorting intention. The waste sorting intention has a positive and significant effect on waste sorting behaviour (WSB). In addition, individual characteristics have a significant impact on waste sorting behaviour, where respondents of women, higher income, and middle and old age are more willing to implement waste sorting behaviours. This study theoretically contributes to the literature by improving the understanding of the determinants of household solid waste sorting behaviour. It also provides several recommendations to improve existing policies at the practitioner level. These recommendations can be valuable references for waste management in China and other emerging economies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:waste sorting, theory of planned behaviour, value-belief-norm theory, structural equation modelling, China
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Industrial relations
UTAS Author:Sadeghian Esfahani, S (Dr Sonia Sadeghian Esfahani)
ID Code:149016
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Information and Communication Technology
Deposited On:2022-03-01
Last Modified:2023-01-06
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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