This paper uses a randomized controlled trial to test whether doorstep canvassing can raise participation in kerbside recycling. Existing research shows that canvassing can confront negative attitudes, increase understanding and resolve structural obstacles, but there is less known about the longitudinal effects of such interventions, which may fall away over time. 194 streets in Trafford, in the North West of England, UK were randomly assigned into a treatment and a control group. All households in the treatment group were visited by canvassers who were trained to promote and encourage recycling. Recycling participation rates for all households were measured by observing bin set out rates over a three-week period. Measurement was done before and after the canvassing campaign and then again three months later to see if the intervention had been effective in raising participation rates. Random-effects multilevel regression models, controlling for baseline recycling, street size, deprivation and size of ethnic minority population, show that the canvassing raised recycling participation rates for the treatment group compared to the control group, but there was a decline in the impact of the intervention over time. The intervention was more effective on streets with low levels of recycling at baseline.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law