This paper reports the results of a qualitative study with four main objectives: A To identify activities and inactivities in private households which influence the volume, composition, and further treatment of solid household waste, B to i dentify factors that influence consumers%27 perceptions of the possibilities for avoiding or reducing waste, and in particular to identify the perceived barriers for waste reduction, C to identify which types of social or organised consumer activities if any seem to be most popular with regard to waste avoidance, and D to investigate whether or not variations in these activities and perceptions are related to variations in objective life conditions. The data are collected by means of ten focus group interviews. Two focus groups were carried out with experts in the field and eight with ordinary consumers. In the design of the study, the following situational and respondent characteristics were controlled for: L ife-cycle stage, gender, income, housing conditions, and waste removal system. The last three variables were used as break variables while the first two were controlled for by controlling the composition of the sample Knodel, 1993. Particip ants were selected on the basis of random samples of adults in two municipalities with strongly diverging waste removal systems. By means of telephone interviews, the respondents were screened with regard to the rest of the control characte ristics in order to obtain focus groups in each municipality which were homogenous with regard to four combinations of the income above vs. below average family income and housing flat vs. single family house characteristics and mixed with regard to life cycle stages and gender. In the paper, general impressions from the interviews and results of a more formal content analysis are reported.
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The 20th Annual Colloquium of IAREP, The International Association for Research in Economic Psychology August 1995 Frontiers in Economic Psychology Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Bergen, August