Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour regarding waste management options in Romania: results from a school questionnaire


  • Karin KOLBE University of Hildesheim



Waste management, waste hierarchy, waste reduction, sustainable development, Romania


This study analyses knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in the area of different waste management approaches of pupils in Romania. Examining school students’ knowledge about waste management options and finding out the reasons that prevent them from participating in environmentally sound disposal options is essential for teachers and legislators. For this purpose, questionnaires were designed and distributed in two schools in Romania.The analysis revealed that knowledge is highly developed in Romania regarding the potential of recycling, while the concepts of waste management technologies are far less known about and understood. Landfill is seen as a problem for human health and the environment. However, recycling behaviour is low - partly as a result of limited possibilities. In general, the treatment hierarchy that is recommended in the "European waste hierarchy" is only partly reflected in students’ attitudes towards waste management options.


Almasi, A. M. & Reichel, A. (2013). Municipal Waste Management in Romania European Environmental Agency.

Apostol, L. & Mihai, F.-C. (2012). Rural waste management: Challenges and Issues in Romania. Present Environment and Sustainable Development, 6, 105-114.

Beede, D. N. & Bloom, D. E. (1995). The economics of municipal solid waste. The World Bank Research Observer, 10, 113-150.

Bird, M. (2010, February 1). Battle only half won in Romania green revolution. The Diplomat Bucharest.

Boerschig, S. & De Young, R. (1993). Evaluation of Selected Recycling Curricula: Educating the Green citizen. The Journal of Environmental Education, 24, 17-22.

European Commission (2012). Guidance on the interpretation of key provisions of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste Brussels: Directorate-General Envrionment.

European Environmental Agency (2009). Diverting waste from landfill - Effectiveness of waste-management policies in the European Union Copenhagen.

European Parliament & European Council (2008). Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive).

Eurostat (2013). Environment in the EU27: In 2011, 40% of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted, up from 27% in 2001 (Rep. No. 33/2013).

Eurostat 18-2-2014a Municipal waste 20-3-2014a.

Eurostat 2014b Real GDP growth rate - volume 7-7-2014b.

Gamba, R. J. & Oskamp, S. (1994). Factors Influencing Community Residents' Participation in Commingled Curbside Recycling Programs. Environment and Behavior, 26, 587-612.

Krüger, C. & Carius, A. (2001). Environmental Policy and Law in Romania: Towards EU Accession. Berlin: Ecologic.

Larsson, B., Andersson, M., & Osbeck, C. (2010). Bringing Environmentalism Home: Children`s influence on family consumption in the Nordic countries and beyond. Childhood, 17, 129-147.

Lavagnolo, M. C. (2010). A Glance at the World: Waste management in Romania: past, present and trend. Waste Management, 30, 1755.

Lopotaru, A. (2014, February 2). Romania's recycling timetable: what, when, how. The Diplomat Bucharest.

Mazzanti, M. & Zoboli, R. (2008). Waste generation, waste disposal and policy effectiveness: Evidence on decoupling from the European Union. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 52, 1221-1234.

Mazzanti, M. (2008). Is waste generation de-linking from economic growth? Empirical evidence for Europe. Applied Economics Letters, 15, 287-291.

Pires, A., Martinho, G., & Chang, N. B. (2011). Solid waste management in European countries: A review of systems analysis techniques. Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 1033-1050.

Plesea, D. A. & Visan, S. (2010). Good Practices Regarding Solid Waste Management Recycling. The Amfiteatru Economic journal, 12, 228-241.

Schmidt, J. H., Holm, P., Merrild, A., & Christensen, P. (2007). Life cycle assessment of the waste hierarchy - A Danish case study on waste paper. Waste Management, 27, 1519-1530.

Vaughan, C., Gack, J., Solorazano, H., & Ray, R. (2003). The Effect of Environmental Education on Schoolchildren, Their Parents, and Community Members: A Study of Intergenerational and Intercommunity Learning. The Journal of Environmental Education, 34, 12-21.