EPA NSW Survey Reveals Recycling Attitudes

Disposing of waste in a skip
A groundbreaking study for EPA NSW has revealed residents’ waste and recycling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.

Researchers interviewed 1,200 NSW residents aged 16+ during April and May this year. EPA NSW wanted to investigate current knowledge, attitudes and behaviours toward household waste management and recycling, both generally and across four EPA program areas: general recycling, organics, problem waste, and illegal dumping.

The study found that 82 per cent of interviewees had the desired knowledge and attitudes to dispose of waste and recycle properly, and believed they did so most of the time. However, their perceived knowledge on waste and recycling tended to be greater than their actual knowledge, typified by three areas: avoiding food waste, disposing of problem waste correctly, and preventing illegal dumping.

The remaining 18 per cent of respondents were cited as having misconceptions about waste and recycling, and often didn’t recycle or dispose of wastes properly.

“The Community Benchmarking Study will guide how the EPA communicates waste and recycling information to improve environmental outcomes in NSW,” said Director of Waste and Resource Recovery, NSW EPA, Steve Beaman. “Our focus will be to reinforce the positive waste and recycling attitudes and behaviours of the majority of NSW residents, and create education campaigns to assist those who need to learn more about the benefits of improving waste and recycling behaviours in NSW.”

The full report, Waste Less, Recycle More initiative – Community Benchmark Study, is available on the EPA website.

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