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Can children’s engagement in recycling processes reduce household waste?
Last registered on May 20, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Can children’s engagement in recycling processes reduce household waste?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003300
Initial registration date
May 15, 2019
Last updated
May 20, 2019 2:24 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Gothenburg
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Southern Denmark
PI Affiliation
University of Gothenburg
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-08-01
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We run a randomized controlled trial with school children aged 10-16 in Falkenberg and Varberg municipality, Sweden. Roughly 400-500 students across at least 33 school classes are expected to participate in the study. Randomization occurs within classes. Both treated and control students are visited by the experimenters and given an exercise. Treated students are asked to measure, each day over a period of one week, the amount of waste generated in their household. Control students face a placebo task of measuring the outdoor temperature. In a subsequent session, treated students listen to a brief lecture on waste and the environment, participate in a subsequent group discussion, and play an educational game. Control students take part in a similar educational session on weather. We then couple the home addresses provided by students with household-level waste data to examine the differential effect of the waste-themed interventions on the waste generated by households where a child was treated.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Ek, Claes, Sandra Samuelsson and Magnus Söderberg. 2019. "Can children’s engagement in recycling processes reduce household waste?." AEA RCT Registry. May 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3300-1.0.
Former Citation
Ek, Claes, Sandra Samuelsson and Magnus Söderberg. 2019. "Can children’s engagement in recycling processes reduce household waste?." AEA RCT Registry. May 20. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3300/history/46878.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
1. Treatment: educational package on waste. (i) Home assignment (weighing residual and food waste), (ii) Lecture, group discussion, educational game
2. Placebo control: educational package on weather. (i) Home assignment (measuring temperature, rainfall, etc.), (ii) Lecture, group discussion, educational game
Intervention Start Date
2018-09-10
Intervention End Date
2018-12-14
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Residual waste amounts (in kilograms), 2) Food waste amounts (in kilograms)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
All school visits are conducted by the same two experimenters. Each class is visited twice. On the first visit, students within a class are randomized into a treatment and a control condition. Within each condition, students are given an exercise. Treated students are asked to measure, each day over a period of one week, the amount of waste generated in their household or the household they are visiting that day. Control students face a similar task of measuring the outdoor temperature and other weather factors for a consecutive seven days.

Between one and three weeks after the conclusion of these exercises, each class is revisited by the experimenters. In this second session, treated students listen to a brief lecture on waste and the environment, participate in a subsequent group discussion, and finally play an educational game where they answer quiz questions on waste and tasked with correctly sorting cards representing different waste fractions. Control students instead listen to a lecture on geographical variation in temperature and rainfall, and participate in a similarly themed group discussion and quiz.

As part of the home assignment, each student fills in a form provided by the experimenters. This is the main data source from the intervention itself. One of the fields specifies the address where, for each day, the assignment was carried out. These addresses are then combined with household-level waste data, allowing estimation of the differential effect of treatment on waste amounts in the households where a student was treated.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Assignment into treatment/control: manual shuffling of randomization cards
Assignment of experimenters to treatment/control group: coin flip
Randomization Unit
Treatment/control: Student (within class-randomization). Also, for each class, experimenters were randomly assigned to either treatment or control.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
400 students.
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 students in treatment and control, respectively.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Residual waste: 0.68 kg (6.69%, SD = 9.49) Food waste: 0.46 kg (9.8%, SD = 6.41)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Regional Ethical Review Board Gothenburg
IRB Approval Date
2018-12-03
IRB Approval Number
929-18
Analysis Plan

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