Claimed Recycling Habits Participation and Frequency

People typically over-claim participation in recycling schemes in questionnaire surveys. Checks in the London household survey suggest at least 10% over-claiming. Other research, which has compared claims with waste recovered, suggests much higher levels of over-claiming. Bearing in mind likely over-claiming, the household survey indicates that more than half of London households are doing little or no recycling at present. Up to another third of households are recycling but think they are doing as much as they can. Only around a fifth are recyclers who say (without prompting) that they do less recycling than they should.

(Claimed) high recyclers tend to be older and more affluent households. Low/non-recyclers tend to be younger, low income and ethnic minority households. These low participation households are those described earlier as likely to suffer multiple constraints on recycling. 40% of households claim to be doing more recycling than in the past, though 9% say they are doing less. Those doing more are typically affluent, older households; those claiming to do less are most likely to be younger households living in flats.

Claimed high participation and increased recycling activity is most strongly associated with households saying they have kerbside collection. Nearly three-quarters of kerbside households claim to be high/medium recyclers and 59% claim increased recycling in the last few years. Even so, more than a quarter of kerbside households (28%) appear not to have been persuaded, and continue to do little or no recycling. Less than half of kerbside households claim to recycle as much as they can.

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