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The impact of social capital on regional waste recycling

TitleThe impact of social capital on regional waste recycling
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsTsung-hsiu T
Journal TitleSustainable Development
ISBN Number1099-1719

Waste recycling is a prominent indicator of environmental sustainability in the pursuit of sustainable development. Exploring the determinants of waste recycling is therefore of importance to policy makers. Current research in recycling has explored several important factors to assess household participation in recycling. The local community policy towards recycling is regarded as an important factor, as it can assist households in collecting recyclables as well as implementing innovative recycling programmes. In this paper we look again at the role of community in recycling by asking to what extent a region's degree of social coherence, measured as social capital, would influence its recycling rate. Using Taiwan as a case study we applied the fixed effect model in panel data analysis to estimate the impact of social capital on the regional recycling rate. The estimation shows that the elasticity of social capital to regional recycling rate is about 0.38-0.43 at the 5% significance level. This provides evidence that a region's social relations are highly correlated with its recycling performance; a region's degree of social capital appears to increase its recycling rate. This finding implies that a successful recycling programme requires interactions between society and the environment. Enhancing a region's degree of social capital can also be incorporated as a part of that region's recycling programme. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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