News & events


Recycling Behaviour Among Urban South African Households: The Role of Race, History and Social Status

17 August 2010
14:15 - 15:30

Date :

17 August 2010

Time :

14:15 – 15:30

Presenters :

Prof Barbara A Anderson and Prof John H Romani

This study examines household recycling behaviour among urban South Africans, based on the 2003, 2005 and 2006 General Household Surveys. Research in Europe and North America finds that recycling is more likely when it is easier for household to recycle.  This was true for all South African households. Also, recycling for normative reasons (not to get money) has been found to be strongly related to education and is more common among older people. This was found for non-African households.


Among African households, recycling is much less common and increases little with education. However, African households with a schoolchild are more likely to recycle, possibly to cooperate with school programmes and to provide a good model for children. Among African households, the older the household head, the less likely the household is to recycle, possibly because older Africans spent more of their lives under apartheid and are less motivated to recycle for the common good.

Barbara A Anderson is the Ronald Freedman Collegiate Professor of Sociology and Population Studies at the University of Michigan. Her doctorate is in Sociology from Princeton University

John H Romani is Professor Emeritus of Public Health Administration and Emeritus Professor in the Programme in the Environment at the University of Michigan.  His PhD is in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He is a former President of the American Public Health Asociation.

Prof Anderson and Prof Romani have worked with researchers at the HSRC since 1998 and spent the 2001-02 year at HSRC.

The presentation from the seminar is now available for download 

The audio presentation from the seminar is available for download


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