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An Economic Analysis of Mixing Wastes

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  • Rob F.T. Aalbers

    (SEO Economic Research, Amsterdam)

  • Herman R.J. Vollebergh

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit)

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

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 05-094/3.

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Date of creation: 14 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20050094

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Economics of Waste; Recycling; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies; General Equilibrium Theory;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2000. "Corrective Taxation for Curbing Pollution and Promoting Green Product Design and Recycling," CESifo Working Paper Series 350, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 1999. "Recycling, Producer Responsibility and Centralized Waste Management," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 83-99, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  6. Chongwoo Choe & Iain Fraser, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Household Waste Management," Working Papers 1997.11, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  7. Dijkgraaf, Elbert & Vollebergh, Herman R.J., 2004. "Burn or bury? A social cost comparison of final waste disposal methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 233-247, October.
  8. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2004. "Cost savings of unit-based pricing of household waste: The case of the Netherlands," Public Economics 0409001, EconWPA.
  9. Don Fullerton & Wenbo Wu, 1996. "Policies for Green Design," NBER Working Papers 5594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Don Fullerton & Ann Wolverton, 2000. "Two Generalizations of a Deposit-Refund System," NBER Working Papers 7505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Don Fullerton & Thomas C. Kinnaman, 1993. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," NBER Working Papers 4374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  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. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00446819 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Pierre Fleckinger & Matthieu Glachant, 2010. "The organization of extended producer responsibility in waste policy with product differentiation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00641867, HAL.

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