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Demystifying the complexity and heterogeneity of recycling behavior in organizational settings: a mixed-methods approach.

Oke, Adekunle; McDonald, Seonaidh; Korobilis-Magas, Evagelos


Adekunle Oke

Seonaidh McDonald


Research on recycling has advanced across different disciplines, although the current knowledge about recycling behaviors at the corporate level remains elusive. While most studies on recycling are focused on households, there is no indication that people who recycle at home engage in similar behavior when at work. To understand how to facilitate recycling at work, this study investigates recycling behavior at work and its antecedents. The study adopts a sequential exploratory mixed method (MM) approach as its methodological framework, using semi-structured interviews and statistical analysis through structural equation modelling (SEM). According to the findings, factors such as types and volumes of waste, responsibility/accountability, personal control, recycling schemes, institutional supports, and group harmony contribute to recycling behavior in organizational settings. The study demonstrates contextual attributes' contribution, particularly organizational support and social context of recycling to employees' recycling behavior. For recycling to be normative at the corporate level, this MM study argues for the need to harmonize schemes within and across contexts. There is a need to install similar recycling schemes and facilities within and across waste generation contexts to reduce the recycling complexity and maintain consistency in recycling behavior. This study's findings could assist waste planners and policymakers in designing effective waste management schemes that would contribute to the circular economy initiatives. We further discussed the implication of the study.


OKE, A., MCDONALD, S. and KOROBILIS-MAGAS, E. 2021. Demystifying the complexity and heterogeneity of recycling behavior in organizational settings: a mixed-methods approach. Waste management [online], 136, pages 337-347. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 6, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 7, 2022
Journal Waste management
Print ISSN 0956-053X
Electronic ISSN 1879-2456
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 136
Pages 337-347
Keywords Mixed methods research; Pro-environmental behavior; Recycling at home; Recycling at work; Organizational support; Structural equation modeling (SEM)
Public URL
Additional Information The file accompanying this record includes supplementary material that was originally published as a separate document. This supplementary material is at the end of the main manuscript, after the other tables and figures.


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