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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, vol. 5(1), pages 21-43, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bevin Ashenmiller, . "Cash Recycling as an Efficiency Enhancing Anti-Poverty Program," Occidental Economics Working Papers 9, Occidental College, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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, vol. 37(3), pages 489-519, July.
    5. 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, vol. 14(4), pages 503-518, December.
    6. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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, vol. 64(2), pages 433-443, December.
    8. Usui, Takehiro, 2008. "Estimating the effect of unit-based pricing in the presence of sample selection bias under Japanese Recycling Law," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 282-288, June.
    9. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-84, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Daigee Shaw & Yue-Mi Tsai, 2004. "Assessing Alternative Policies for Reducing Household Waste in Taiwan," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 04-A010, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    12. Dijkgraaf, E. & Gradus, R. H. J. M., 2004. "Cost savings in unit-based pricing of household waste: The case of The Netherlands," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 353-371, December.
    13. Abbott, Andrew & Nandeibam, Shasikanta & O'Shea, Lucy, 2013. "Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 10-18.
    14. 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 19953, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. 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.
    16. Fullerton, Don & Wu, Wenbo, 1998. "Policies for Green Design," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 131-148, September.
    17. Takehiro Usui & Kenji Takeuchi, 2012. "Evaluating Unit-Based Pricing Of Residential Solid Waste: A Panel Data Analysis," Discussion Papers 1203, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    18. 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.

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