Household Recycling Study: Summary
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) recently released the Household Recycling Study, which was conducted from Aug 2012 to Jan 2013, involving a nationwide survey of 2,500 respondents and 5 focus group discussions of 10 participants each.
The study was done to understand the state of household recycling in Singapore and the factors that hinder or motivate recycling.
Here are some of the key findings:
Recycling Participation Rate
95% of the survey respondents said that they recycled, and the top 5 types of items recycled were newspaper (87.2%), old clothing (67%), magazines (63.9%), plastic bags (61.3%), and plastic drink bottles (55.5%).
The other items recycled were:
For the recycling of paper items, respondents tend to give them to the karung gunis, use the recycling bins, or use the door-to-door collection of recycling bags. For the recycling of non-paper items, respondents tend to reuse the items, use the recycling bins, or give to others to reuse.
Reasons for Recycling
The top reason why respondents recycled items is because “recycling helps save the environment” (~69%).
Reasons for Not Recycling
The top reason for not recycling items is because of “none/too few/too small an item to recycle” (60%-65%).
Reasons People Start to Recycle
The top reason why respondents start to recycle is because “I want to do my part to save the environment” (64.2%).
Influencers of Household Recycling Behaviour
74% of respondents said that they were not influenced by anyone to recycle.
78.2% of respondents indicated that they would encourage others to start recycling. Most of them would encourage their family members (77.9%) and friends (66.6%) to recycle.
Knowledge and Convenience of Nearest Recycling Bin
64.8% of respondents are aware of where the nearest recycling bin was located from their homes. They agreed (54.4%) or strongly agreed (15.4%) with the statement that “the recycling bin is conveniently located to my home”.
Knowledge of Which Items Can Be Recycled
Most respondents are aware that the following items can be recycled:
On average, respondents agreed with the statements: “I know where to bring my household waste for recycling” and “I know which item(s) can be recycled”.
On average, respondents are neutral on these statements: “I believe I recycle more than most people” and “I believe my household recycles more than most Singapore households”.
On average, respondents disagreed with the statements: “My family does not believe in recycling” and “No one in my home recycles”, which suggested that their family believed in recycling and had at least one member who recycled.
On average, respondents somewhat agreed that “I will still recycle no matter how busy I am”, and agreed that “I will recycle more often if the recycling bin is nearer to my home”, but disagreed that “I do not recycle due to hygiene reasons”.
Information on Recycling
56.5% of respondents replied that they would want to know more about recycling, and the top 5 info that they would like to know more about are:
Suggestions on Encouraging Household Recycling
The most common suggestions from the respondents on what the government could do to encourage household recycling are to: have “more media coverage” (47.7%), and “place more recycling bins around my house/give more recycling bags/have more recycling points” (42.9%).
Focus Group Discussions Summary
Here’s the summary of the key findings from the focus group discussions:
Source and images credit: MEWR