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Shaping Social Practices and Behaviors to Implement Community-Based Organic Waste Management Strategies

Ruiz Bravo, D. (2023) Shaping Social Practices and Behaviors to Implement Community-Based Organic Waste Management Strategies.

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Abstract:Mexico faces the inability to meet their intended objectives at governmental level particularly stemming from the centralized waste management system. The regulatory framework mandates waste reduction, recycling, and disposal under the supervision of SEMARNAT. However, transparency on penalty enforcement remains lacking, exacerbating the inefficiencies of centralization. The centralized model also limits community engagement and participation, hindering local support and unique community needs. While public awareness is high, practical sustainable behavior change remains a challenge. To address these challenges, this study suggests exploring intervention approaches through the lens of social practice theory (SPT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to bridge the gap between awareness and action within community-based approach. The objective of this research was to identify factors that can shape residents' social practices and behaviors towards organic waste management. Furthermore, the research aimed to determine the potential social behaviors and practices necessary to implement a community-based waste management model in a high-income neighborhood, namely Lago Esmeralda located in Atizapán de Zaragoza, Mexico. The research was conducted through a survey intended for the residents of the neighborhood and by interviewing an NGO specialist and the Administrator of Lago Esmeralda condominiums. The results show that the elements of SPT and TPB significantly influence residents' social practices and behavior; for Lago Esmeralda, materials, competences, and perceived behavioral control hinder such practices, while meaning and subjective norms enhance them, underlining the importance of interplay among these elements. Social facilitators and barriers for a community-based strategy (CBS) in Lago Esmeralda were identified; the condominium's board of directors can either enable or hinder collective sustainability efforts, emphasizing the necessity of trustworthy environments and peer interactions. Notably, Lago Esmeralda's strengths include resource flexibility and environmental initiative prioritization. Insights from challenges and benefits inform potential social practices and behaviors within a customized community-based strategy, specifically a group-composting CBS in Lago Esmeralda. The contribution of this research refers to a new framework developed with the intention of facilitating the assessment made for the entire study case and adding to the existing literature on social behavior towards waste management, particularly organic waste management.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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