Separate Waste Collection as Russians' Voluntary Practice: the Dynamics, Factors and Potential

Separate Waste Collection as Russians' Voluntary Practice:
the Dynamics, Factors and Potential

Shabanova M.A.

Dr. Sci.(Soc.), Professor, Lead Research Associate, the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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Shabanova M.A. Separate Waste Collection as Russians' Voluntary Practice: the Dynamics, Factors and Potential. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 8. P. 103-117


The paper presents the data of three all-Russia representative surveys (2014, 2017 and 2020) on the dynamics of the levels, factors and conditions of citizens’ engagement in the practice of separate household waste collection (SWC). It has been ascertained that today a major (and increasingly growing) share of Russians do not reject their engagement in SWC but put forward a counter-demand for an available and convenient infrastructure and information in this sphere. The progress in the development of an enabling environment in 2019–2020 had an impact on the sharp increase in the number of actual SWC participants, a growing number of potential participants and a drastic decline of those who are indifferent, which somehow mitigated adverse impact of the waste problem owing to the pandemic. The study provides evidence that despite the persistence of key motivations and factors of engagement in SWC, significant changes occurred in their structure in 2020 resulting from the waste reform, change in the quality structure of participants and the pandemic challenge. Based on the new wave of the survey, the paper makes a conclusion about the potential and measures for further enhancement of Russians’ participation in SWC.

waste issue; civil society; separate collection of household waste; environmental consumer responsibility; pro-environmental behavior; ethical consumption; COVID-19 pandemic


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