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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010093

Waste Separation in Cafeterias: A Study among University Students in the Netherlands

Department of Work & Social Psychology, Maastricht University, PO BOX 616, 6200MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
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Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
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Abstract

Recycling waste is important to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses. The aim of this project was to understand determinants of cafeteria waste separation behavior among university students. First, the determinants of waste separation behavior among university students (n = 121) were explored using an online questionnaire. In study 2 (pre-/post-test design), the effect of a small intervention (based on study 1) on actual waste sorting behavior was observed. Finally, a semi-qualitative study in 59 students was conducted as process evaluation of the intervention. The following results were revealed: (1) Students have limited knowledge about waste separation, have a high intention to separate waste, are positive about waste separation in general, and believe that they can separate waste correctly. (2) Just over half of the waste is correctly recycled. An intervention with extra information had no significant effect on improving recycling behavior. (3) Students evaluated the intervention positively. Some students suggested that more information should be available where the actual decision making takes place. Ultimately, this paper concludes that although students have a positive attitude and are willing to behave pro-environmentally, there is a gap between intention and actual behavior. These results may also apply to other organizations and members of those organizations. New interventions are needed to trigger students to make correct waste separation decisions where the actual decision making takes place. View Full-Text
Keywords: recycling; waste separation behavior; determinants of behavior; intervention; university students recycling; waste separation behavior; determinants of behavior; intervention; university students
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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Árnadóttir, Á.D.; Kok, G.; Van Gils, S.; Ten Hoor, G.A. Waste Separation in Cafeterias: A Study among University Students in the Netherlands. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 93.

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