Developing measures for the waste management hierarchy: A South Australian case study

Anne Sharp, Lara Stocchi, Vaughan Levitzke, Marcia Kreinhold

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Waste Management Hierarchy is a well-established framework for conceptualizing the spectrum of desirable behaviours to manage, reduce and avoid waste. To date, research relating to the householder behaviours on the Waste Management Hierarchy has primarily focused on the lower order disposal and recycling behaviours, reflecting the areas of historical policy attention. Recently, however, policy focus has shifted to ‘higher order’ behaviours such as reuse and avoidance, in line with Circular Economy thinking. To address the measurement gap, this chapter develops and tests a battery of householder waste behaviour measures across the entire waste hierarchy. The battery was piloted with 573 South Australian householders, where the ‘higher’ order waste behaviours are more likely to be displayed as the Waste Hierarchy has been embedded in waste policy directives for many years. Findings empirically validate the Waste Management Hierarchy, deliver a quantified benchmark of the prevalence of behaviours across its spectrum and explore the underlying motives driving pro-environmental behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnmaking waste in production and consumption
Subtitle of host publication Towards the circular economy
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEmerald Insight
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78714-619-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-78714-620-4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2018


  • Waste management hierarchy
  • waste behaviour
  • pro-environmental (green) behaviour
  • waste management
  • sustainable marketing
  • circular economy


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