This study compared the influence of individualistic attitudinal factors with more community-level (or ecological) variables on recycling behavior in the context of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Data obtained from a postal questionnaire (n = 765) were matched with historical recycling participation behavior data collected by the local government authority to examine the effect of general environmental concern, attitudes toward recycling, sense of community, and socioeconomic status of neighborhood on levels of participation in a recently introduced curbside collection program. The influence of cultural differences between Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast is also considered. Our results suggested that socioeconomic status of area was the strongest predictor of recycling participation, with recycling attitudes and sense of community also having some affect, and general environmental concern being found to have no effect. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of proenvironmental behavior and their application to the promotion of recycling participation within communities.
- Environmentally sustainable behavior
- Northern Ireland
- Sense of community
- Social capital