Levels of waste within the construction industry need to be reduced for environmental and economic reasons. Changing people's wasteful behaviour can make a significant contribution. This paper describes a research project that used Ajzen's 'theory of planned behaviour' to investigate the attitudinal forces that shape behaviour at the operative level. It concludes that operatives see waste as an inevitable by-product of construction activity. Attitudes towards waste management are not negative, although they are pragmatic and impeded by perceptions of a lack of managerial commitment. Waste management is perceived as a low project priority, and there is an absence of appropriate resources and incentives to support it. A theory of waste behaviour is proposed for the construction industry, and recommendations are made to help managers improve operatives' attitudes towards waste
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