To support the goal of the European Union to go fully circular in 2050, the Netherlands set a household waste separation target of 75% (Government of the Netherlands, 2016). Various organisations are supporting the government’s goal. One is Cylus. Cyclus functions cooperatively with 12 municipalities in collecting, cleaning and processing waste sustainably with a vision in mind; to work together with the municipalities and contribute towards the Netherlands’ transition into circular economy. However, household waste separation percentages revealed that the municipality of Gouda is far from reaching its target of 75%, only achieving between 43% and 53% in the course of 5 years. This research aimed explain which behavioural and situational factors could have possibly influenced this result. By utilising a quantitative case study as the research strategy, the research proceeded by obtaining primary and secondary data through questionnaires, interviews, observations and accessing websites and databases. The literature review enabled the researcher to discover factors which have possibly influenced household waste separation in Gouda. The behavioural factors were supported by the Theory of Planned of Behaviour. This theory suggested that intention is a main driver of one’s behaviour (Ajzen, 1985). In this case, recycling behaviour. Meanwhile, the situational factors were supported by the Infrastructure-Service-Behaviour (ISB) Model (Timlett et al, 2011) wherein it is believed that not only behaviour influences recycling behaviour but infrastructure and services as well. Inferential tests such as correlation, regression and t-test were performed to analyse the data obtained. Moreover, a Cronbach’s alpha test was used to measure the consistency of the items. This was done to find out if the answers obtained from different items can be used to explain one indicator. The research findings found perceived behavioural control and age as the strongest predictors of household waste separation. Older people (aged 60 and above) were found to recycle more than younger people (aged below 60). It is believed that older people have more free time compared to younger people because they lack obligations such as going to work or looking after children. It was determined that the low household waste separation percentage in Gouda was due to the population dominance of those aged below 60. Moreover, perceived behavioural control was found to influence household waste separation. Although difficulty belief was perceived positively by residents, this was not the case for control belief. The perception of the residents regarding their control over recycling was affected by the fact they were not well-informed of what is being done to the items they deliberately or intended to separate. Thus, affecting their intention to recycle. Lastly, this paper ended with some suggestions regarding the possible course of actions the municipality and Cyclus can take such as more frequent collection and improved public awareness campaign. These actions are in hope to contribute towards the improvement of household waste separation in Gouda to meet the 75% target. Keywords: Household waste separation, community participation, behavioural factors, situational factors, recycling, circular economy

, , , , ,
Skinner, J.M. (Julia)

Esin, J. (Jinky). (2019, September). Behavioural and situational factors which influence household waste separation: A quantitative case study in Gouda. Retrieved from