Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

An examination into recycling and waste management attitudes and behaviors by UK employees

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich, Dr Joan Harvey



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by University of Iasi, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper examines employees’ work-related attitudes to recycling and waste management systems whilst retaining a link with personal domestic behavior. A questionnaire of 38 Likert-type items measured employee attitudes to environmental, waste management and recycling, environmental and sustainability concerns, perceived costs and benefits to the company. The hypotheses included demographic differences in attitudes, that attitudes and behavior are related and that behaviors transfer from home to work. The sample included 189 employees from 6 northern UK companies. A factor analysis reduced the attitudes items into four factors, being a positive approach to company recycling, that policies are needed, that recycling is costly to the company and that recycling can earn money. The factors were correlated with behavioral measures and compared by demographics and past recycling behavior using t-tests and ANOVAs. The results show differences in attitudes and behaviors by job type and age, that recycling at work and home are unrelated but that use of eco-friendly products is related to attitudes and concern about depletion of natural resources. The findings are discussed in terms of attitude theories, workplace behavior, training and communications about environmental and waste management in companies plus the transferability of these findings to other types of management systems, other sectors or regions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heidrich O, Harvey J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Engineering and Management Journal

Year: 2018

Volume: 17

Issue: 1

Pages: 71-81

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Acceptance date: 30/05/2014

Date deposited: 04/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1582-9596

ISSN (electronic): 1843-3707

Publisher: University of Iasi