System dynamics-based evaluation of interventions to promote appropriate waste disposal behaviors in low-income urban areas: A Baltimore case study

Huaqing Guo, Benjamin F. Hobbs, Molly E. Lasater, Cindy L. Parker, Peter J. Winch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Inappropriate waste disposal is a serious issue in many urban neighborhoods, exacerbating environmental, rodent, and public health problems. Governments all over the world have been developing interventions to reduce inappropriate waste disposal. A system dynamics model is proposed to quantify the impacts of interventions on residential waste related behavior. In contrast to other models of municipal solid waste management, the structure of our model is based on sociological and economic studies on how incentives and social norms interactively affect waste disposal behavior, and its parameterization is informed by field work. A case study of low-income urban neighborhoods in Baltimore, MD, USA is presented. The simulation results show the effects of individual interventions, and also identify positive interactions among some potential interventions, especially information and incentive-based policies, as well as their limitations. The model can help policy analysts identify the most promising intervention packages, and then field test those few, rather than having to pilot test all combinations. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate large uncertainties about behavioral responses to some interventions, showing where information from survey research and social experiments would improve policy making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages14
JournalWaste Management
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Household waste
  • Litter
  • Recycling
  • Social norms
  • System dynamics
  • Waste management intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal

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