Increasing municipal wastes poses a great threat to public health and further worsening environmental pollution. Urban garbage has become one of the main sources of environmental pollution in Chinese cities, and Urban Garbage Classification (UGC) has become the best option for China. The key to effective implementation of garbage classification lies in the willingness and behavior of residents. We investigate the deviation between willingness to garbage classification (WTC) and behavior of garbage classification (BGC) of residents to the UGC. This study is based on a random survey conducted in China’s cities. We find that firstly more willingness to garbage classification do not mean a higher chance of BGC, which indicates a deviation exists between the WTC and the BGC. Second, such a deviation depends mainly on contextual factors and residentsâ€™ attitudes and knowledge about the UGC. Third, respondents who live in a community with more supporting facilities for the UGC or know more about the UGC, are more likely to participate in garbage classification. Hence, the government should increase the supporting facilities for the UGC and related services to provide a convenient environment for residents to participate in the UGC. Furthermore, strengthening the popularization of knowledge about the UGC to the public can effectively minimize the deviation. This study provides a new perspective for research on alleviating environmental pollution and improving the quality of public health.
Keywords Environmental pollution, Urban garbage classification, Public participation, Random survey, China