The attitudes of Guangzhou citizens on waste reduction and environmental issues

Shan-shan Chung, Chi-sun Poon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Source separation of waste is considered an effective means to enhance waste recycling and it is especially so with Guangzhou. Guangzhou is one of the most populated cities in the world and is facing waste management problems such as increasing cost in waste transport and disposal, local opposition to landfill siting and shortage of waste disposal facilities. In 1997 a questionnaire survey on the attitude and opinion of Guangzhou citizens on source separation of household waste and the acceptance of the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) was conducted by the authors. About 800 questionnaires were distributed with a response rate of over 98%. It was found that the environmental awareness of Guangzhou citizens was slightly higher than their Hong Kong counterparts in the early 1990 but slightly lower than the Americans' in the late 1970's to early 1980's. Also, some 5% of the surveyed population in Guangzhou showed unfamiliarity with the NEP issues. At the same time, the younger generation, especially those below the age of 17, were found to be more pro-NEP than their older counterparts. Thus, more education and publicity in introducing general environmental concepts to the grown up citizens of Guangzhou are required. In the area of household waste recycling, support for source separation of household waste and waste recovery practice in Guangzhou were found to be greater than those in Hong Kong. Since a new door to door bagged waste collection system is being phased in to replace the older waste collection method in Guangzhou, it is expected that the traditional waste scavenging system will be adversely affected and the waste recovery rate may decrease as a result. For the purpose of resource conservation, it is suggested that a systematic and comprehensive household waste source separation programme should be tried out in Guangzhou. Deploying an unskilled labour force and existing scavengers in organized source separation programmes is also a recommended solution. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-59
Number of pages25
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Domestic waste
  • Waste recycling
  • New Environmental Paradigm
  • Guangzhou
  • Waste avoidance potential
  • China


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