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An Approach to Litter Generation and Littering Practices in a Mexico City Neighborhood

Author(s): Cecilia E. Muñoz-Cadena | Pedro Lina-Manjarrez | Irma Estrada-Izquierdo | Eva Ramón-Gallegos

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 1733;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: litter | recyclable waste | attitude | perception | generator

Urban litter is generated by human societies everywhere. Some litter is recyclable waste. In this study, the acronym RMSW is used to refer to recyclable municipal solid waste generated in streets. Public attitude towards RMSW generation, generators’ perceptions, and quantification of RMSW in streets were examined in a Mexico City neighborhood, where litter presence causes major environmental problems affecting the population year after year. Interviews with neighborhood residents and item counts were carried out from 2010 to 2011. In all, 58% of interviewees reported generating RMSW at variable frequencies while 42% said they did not generate this kind of waste. Laziness, lack of vigilance by municipal authorities, no litter bins in streets, and imitation were the main causes identified by interviewees as reasons for littering. Potential litter generators may be of any age, educational level or income. Interviewees’ perception of RMSW generation was compared with item counts in the neighborhood studied.
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