An evaluation of site operatives knowledge, behaviour, motivation, beliefs, and attitudes toward construction and demolition waste management in Ireland
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Despite ever-evolving environmental concerns resulting from increased awareness of environmental sustainability and the rising costs of landfill levies, taxes and raw materials, the Construction and demolition (C&D) industry remains a massive producer of waste, both in Ireland and globally. The overall aim of the current programme of research was to examine, through a mixed methods approach to data analysis, the effects of a ‘tool-box-talk’ construction and demolition waste (C&D W) management training intervention on site operatives’ knowledge, behaviour, motivation, beliefs and attitudes towards waste management. Results from the current research programme revealed: (1) that the ‘tool-box-talk’ training intervention significantly enhanced knowledge towards waste management; (2) a positive variance in behaviour towards waste management from pre-to-post- intervention assessment; (3) there was no effect of the tool-box-talk training intervention on motivation, beliefs or attitudes towards waste management; (4) there was an effect of time on both positive beliefs and attitudes towards waste management; (5) there was no effect of age, years on-site/experience or education on waste management knowledge, overall motivation, beliefs or attitudes; (6) there was a significant effect of position/trade on waste management knowledge, in which electricians scored significantly higher than non-electricians on waste management knowledge, overall motivation and two motivation sub-scales (i.e. help-seeking and control of beliefs); (7) overall motivation was significantly correlated with all motivation sub-scales and positive beliefs at pre-testing, but only with motivation towards effort regulation at post-testing; (8) positive beliefs about waste management was significantly correlated with motivation towards control of beliefs at pre-testing; (9) beliefs about waste management were correlated with attitudes towards waste management at post-testing, as was motivation to control beliefs; (10) though age and years on-site/experience were both positively correlated with each other, they were both negatively correlated with pre-intervention knowledge; and (11) though the operatives rated the tool-box-talk training favourably, they thought it would be too difficult to implement, given that what the training presents as appropriate waste management protocol is both restricted (by “space, time and organisation” [participant IM]) and contradictory to the site practices they indicate are imposed on them. Overall, the results suggest that the ‘tool-box-talk’ C&D W management training intervention is an efficacious learning method, as it was shown, empirically, to enhance site operatives’ waste management knowledge and was shown to have further beneficial effects on site operatives’ waste management behaviour. Empirical and theoretical implications of these results and future research possibilities are discussed in light of past research.
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