Could Behavioural Nudges Improve the Accuracy of Waste Sorting? An Experimental Survey

  •  D. I. J. Samaranayake    
  •  R. S. Thennakoon    


The study consisted of a survey and field experiment to observe the impact of behavioural nudges on an individual’s attitudes and accuracy on waste sorting. The survey conducted on 203 students of the University of Peradeniya, and then the field experiment within the university premises. The responses to the survey revealed that the participants having a negative attitude toward the usual waste disposal and sorting practices. Also, the majority of the respondents preferred non-monetary incentives as an effective strategy to motivate individuals to improve the accuracy of waste sorting. Then the participants are given nine strategies as separate behavioural nudges to improve the waste sorting behavior. The responses are highly varied and the majority prefer to use a combination of different colours and detailed labels as a motivational strategy. Thus, the preferred strategy was examined at the faculty premises throughout three stages and tested three hypotheses. Findings revealed that the strategy improves the accuracy, and supports the university community for proper waste sorting practices. Further, it exposed that the detail labels and stickers are impactful than the colour sensitivity of respondents.

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