The role of awareness campaigns in the improvement of separate collection rates of municipal waste among university students: A Causal Chain Approach

Waste Manag. 2016 Feb;48:48-55. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.11.037. Epub 2015 Dec 9.


One of the main objectives of municipal waste management policies is to improve separate collection, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Several factors influence people behavior to recycling and, consequently, they play an important role to achieve the goals proposed in the management policies. People can improve separate collection rates because of a wide range of causes with different weight. Here, we have determined the uplift in probability to improve separate collection of municipal waste created by the awareness campaigns among 806 undergraduate students at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Catalonia) by means of the Causal Chain Approach, a probabilistic method. A 73.2% state having improved separate collection in recent years and the most of them (75.4%) remember some awareness campaign. The results show the uplift in probability to improve separate collection attributable to the awareness campaigns is 17.9%. They should be taken into account by policy makers in charge of municipal waste management. Nevertheless, it must be assumed an awareness campaign will never be sufficient to achieve the objectives defined in municipal waste management programmes.

Keywords: Awareness campaigns; Catalonia; Causal Chain Approach; Determinants of separate collection rates; Municipal waste; URV students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Recycling
  • Refuse Disposal / methods*
  • Spain
  • Students
  • Universities*
  • Young Adult