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Market incentives to encourage household waste recycling: Paying for what you throw away

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  • James D. Reschovsky

    (Research Fellow at the Center for General Health Services Intramural Research, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

  • Sarah E. Stone

    (Research Associate with The Futures Group, a consulting firm based in Glastonbury, CT)

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    Abstract

    This article investigates the use of market incentives to encourage household waste recycling by pricing waste-disposal services according to the quantity of waste generated. We use a natural experiment from an upstate New York county to examine how quantity-based pricing of waste disposal affects reported household recycling behavior, when used by itself or in conjunction with curbside pickup of recyclables or mandatory recycling laws. Curbside pickup was found to have the greatest effect on reported recycling behavior, although higher waste-disposal prices might alter these conclusions. Other concerns about quantity-based pricing of solid waste-distributional effects, public acceptance, and adverse incentives-are also examined.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/3325093
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 120-139

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:13:y:1994:i:1:p:120-139

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    References

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    1. Miedema, Allen K., 1983. "Fundamental economic comparisons of solid waste policy options," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 21-43, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Brandon C. Koford & Glenn C. Blomquist & David M. Hardesty & Kenneth R. Troske, 2012. "Estimating Consumer Willingness to Supply and Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-763.
    2. Abbott, Andrew & Nandeibam, Shasikanta & O'Shea, Lucy, 2013. "Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 10-18.
    3. Don Fullerton & Thomas C. Kinnaman, 1994. "Household Responses for Pricing Garbage by the Bag," NBER Working Papers 4670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Takehiro Usui & Kenji Takeuchi, 2014. "Evaluating Unit-Based Pricing of Residential Solid Waste: A Panel Data Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(2), pages 245-271, June.
    5. Bevin Ashenmiller, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Recycling Behavior in the Presence of a Bottle Law: New Empirical Results," Occidental Economics Working Papers 10, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
    6. Scott Callan & Janet Thomas, 1999. "Adopting a Unit Pricing System for Municipal Solid Waste: Policy and Socio-Economic Determinants," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(4), pages 503-518, December.
    7. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2004. "Cost savings of unit-based pricing of household waste: The case of the Netherlands," Public Economics, EconWPA 0409001, EconWPA.
    8. Thomas C. Kinnaman & Don Fullerton, 1997. "Garbage and Recycling in Communities with Curbside Recycling and Unit-Based Pricing," NBER Working Papers 6021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Daigee Shaw & Yue-Mi Tsai, 2004. "Assessing Alternative Policies for Reducing Household Waste in Taiwan," IEAS Working Paper : academic research, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 04-A010, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    10. Don Fullerton & Wenbo Wu, 1996. "Policies for Green Design," NBER Working Papers 5594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. W. Kip Viscusi & Joel Huber & Jason Bell & Caroline Cecot, 2009. "Discontinuous Behavioral Responses to Recycling Laws and Plastic Water Bottle Deposits," NBER Working Papers 15585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ida Ferrara & Paul Missios, 2012. "A Cross-Country Study of Household Waste Prevention and Recycling: Assessing the Effectiveness of Policy Instruments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(4), pages 710-744.
    13. Bevin Ashenmiller, . "Cash Recycling as an Efficiency Enhancing Anti-Poverty Program," Occidental Economics Working Papers 9, Occidental College, Department of Economics.
    14. Usui, Takehiro, 2008. "Estimating the effect of unit-based pricing in the presence of sample selection bias under Japanese Recycling Law," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 282-288, June.
    15. Bohara, Alok K. & Caplan, Arthur J. & Grijalva, Therese, 2007. "The effect of experience and quantity-based pricing on the valuation of a curbside recycling program," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 433-443, December.
    16. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Halstead, John M. & Hallas-Burt, Shanna & Huang, Ju-Chin, 2004. "Alternatives For Financing Municipal Services: The Case Of Unit-Priced Trash Disposal," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) 19953, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    18. Hai-Lan Yang & Robert Innes, 2007. "Economic Incentives and Residential Waste Management in Taiwan: An Empirical Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(3), pages 489-519, July.

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