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ISER Working Paper Series 2012-14

Patterns of household practice: an examination into the relationship between housework and waste separation for households in the United Kingdom


Publication date

24 Jul 2012


Although evidence suggests that households are doing more recycling, little is known about waste management practices within the home. How cleaned, sorted materials move from the point of consumption to the point of kerbside collection. Who does the work and in what ways if at all, it is integrated into other similar domestic tasks in the home? In this study I test the hypothesis put forward in two recent studies that as a domestic practice, waste separation is carried out, mostly by women, alongside other similar domestic routines such as food preparation, cooking and washing up. Using data collected between 2009/2010 from Understanding Society, a nationally representative survey of households in the United Kingdom, the association between waste separation and housework is examined for 2,312 men and women, living independently and 3,002 opposite sex, married or cohabiting couples.


Environmental Sociology, Households, and Sociology Of Households

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