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Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 23; doi:10.3390/socsci5020023

Effectiveness of Recycling Promotion and Education Initiatives among First-Generation Ethnic Minorities in Ontario, Canada

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Ave W, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada
Academic Editor: Martin J. Bull
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016

Abstract

This study examines how first-generation ethnic minorities respond to different types of recycling promotion and education campaigns (P&E) used by municipalities in Ontario, Canada. A total of eight focus group sessions were conducted over an eight-week period to gauge participant attitudes and responses towards print (newspaper and signs) and electronic (websites) P&E messaging. Participants were asked to comment on message “recognition”, “clarity”, “the ability to increase recycling awareness” and “the ability to affect changes in recycling behavior”. Results from the focus group sessions suggest that none of the P&E mediums tested were able to increase recycling awareness or change recycling behavior in any meaningful way. First-generation ethnic minorities struggle with recognizing the central theme and purpose of P&E advertisements. Respondents also found existing campaigns excessively complex and confusing, and were not familiar with many of the terms and symbols used in existing P&E messaging. Other findings suggest that ethnic minorities are skeptical and distrustful of the municipalities’ intentions with respect to what they do with the waste after it is collected. The findings from this study lead to the recommendation that municipalities rethink and redesign recycling promotion and education initiatives to better engage minority communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: recycling; race; ethnicity; promotion and education; diversion recycling; race; ethnicity; promotion and education; diversion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lakhan, C. Effectiveness of Recycling Promotion and Education Initiatives among First-Generation Ethnic Minorities in Ontario, Canada. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 23.

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