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An economic analysis of mixing wastes

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  • Rob Aalbers
  • Herman Vollebergh

    ()

Abstract

Using a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous waste, this paper studies optimal waste policy when households have to exert separation effort to produce near-homogeneous waste streams suitable for recycling. Our model explicitly allows for changes in the composition (quality) of waste streams depending on how much effort households are willing to spend on separating different types of waste. Accordingly, we are able to generalize some earlier contributions to the waste management literature and demonstrate that with both mixing and effort included, a first-best optimum is feasible under reasonable conditions. In particular, we find that a (modified) deposit-refund system still provides the optimal incentives to guide recycling as well as legal disposal (landfilling) and illegal dumping. Both the number and level of taxes and subsidies needed to reach the first-best depend crucially on the socially optimal level of dumping as well as the socially optimal composition of the mix.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 311-330

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:311-330

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: Economics of waste; Recycling; Environmental taxes and subsidies; General equilibrium theory; H21; H23; Q53;

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References

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  1. Rob F.T. Aalbers & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of Mixing Wastes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-094/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Choe, Chongwoo & Fraser, Iain, 1999. "An Economic Analysis of Household Waste Management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 234-246, September.
  3. Don Fullerton & Wenbo Wu, 1996. "Policies for Green Design," NBER Working Papers 5594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jenkins, Robin R. & Martinez, Salvador A. & Palmer, Karen & Podolsky, Michael J., 2003. "The determinants of household recycling: a material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 294-318, March.
  5. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2004. "Cost savings of unit-based pricing of household waste: The case of the Netherlands," Public Economics 0409001, EconWPA.
  6. Fullerton Don & Kinnaman Thomas C., 1995. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 78-91, July.
  7. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2000. "Recycling, Producer Responsibility and Centralized Waste Management," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(3), pages 333-, May.
  8. Don Fullerton & Ann Wolverton, 2000. "Two Generalizations of a Deposit-Refund System," NBER Working Papers 7505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2003. "Corrective Taxation for Curbing Pollution and Promoting Green Product Design and Recycling," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(4), pages 477-500, August.
  10. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 2003. "Burn or Bury? A Social Cost Comparison of Final Waste Disposal Methods," Working Papers 2003.46, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. Margaret Walls & Paul Calcott, 2000. "Can Downstream Waste Disposal Policies Encourage Upstream "Design for Environment"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 233-237, May.
  12. Chongwoo Choe & Iain Fraser, 2001. "On the Flexibility of Optimal Policies for Green Design," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(4), pages 367-371, April.
  13. David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling with Detection and Mitigation of Hypothetical Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 492-502.
  14. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Peter Berck & Jay P. Shimshack, 2007. "Curbside Recycling In The Presence Of Alternatives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 739-755, October.
  15. Takayoshi Shinkuma, 2003. "On the Second-best Policy of Household's Waste Recycling," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(1), pages 77-95, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fleckinger, Pierre & Glachant, Matthieu, 2010. "The organization of extended producer responsibility in waste policy with product differentiation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 57-66, January.
  2. Yokoo, Hide-Fumi & Kinnaman, Thomas C., 2013. "Global Reuse and optimal waste policy," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(05), pages 595-614, October.
  3. Rob Aalbers & Herman Vollebergh, 2008. "An economic analysis of mixing wastes," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 311-330, March.

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