The Relevance of Generational Differences in the Disposal of Unnecessary Items from Households in the Context of Municipal Waste Management Rationalization

Izabela Ostrowska
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXV, Issue 1, 511-526, 2022
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2866


Purpose: The amount of municipal waste is steadily increasing, and it seems necessary to take action to remove the products suitable for use from this waste stream and hand them over to those in need. A key issue in waste management is the determination of an appropriate waste treatment hierarchy. The purpose of this article is to identify significant differences depending on the age of consumers in the reasons for disposing of unnecessary items from households. Design/methodology/approach: The author analyzed the scale of the phenomenon and the reasons for disposing of unnecessary but efficient household items. The survey was conducted in January 2020 using the CAWI method on a representative sample of n=1012 adult Polish citizens aged 18 to 60 years. Findings: In the case of most of the product categories studied, differences can be observed between the behavior of young and older people. Younger people are much more likely to declare getting rid of things in order to buy better products. Older people are less inclined to get rid of things, if they decide to do it, they dispose of objects due to lack of space. Practical implications: Knowing which groups of respondents behave less responsibly with unnecessary items, it is possible to adapt the media, the way of argumentation or the form of the message in order to change their habits. Originality/Value: The article contains a literature review and current research results concerning the analyzed issue.

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