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On the value of households' recycling efforts

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  • Annegrete Bruvoll
  • Karine Nyborg

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

Do households' recycling efforts represent a social cost, which should be taken into account in cost-benefit analyses of alternative waste treatment systems? Some argue that it should not, since recycling efforts are to a large extent voluntary. We demonstrate that if the government can indirectly increase voluntary recycling efforts through appeals to the public or through similar means, then the use of these means does impose a cost on households. This cost can be higher or lower than the environmental gain resulting from the increased recycling. Norwegian data indicates a willingness to pay to let others take over the individual’s sorting of household waste corresponding to a cost of about USD 87 per tonne, which is significant compared to the total treatment costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 316.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:316

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Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis; norms; recycling; time use;

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  1. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  2. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
  3. Hornik, Jacob & Cherian, Joseph & Madansky, Michelle & Narayana, Chem, 1995. "Determinants of recycling behavior: A synthesis of research results," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 105-127.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  5. Hollander, Heinz, 1990. "A Social Exchange Approach to Voluntary Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1157-67, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Tadeusz Kądziela & Nick Hanley, 2012. "We want to sort! – assessing households’ preferences for sorting waste," Working Papers 2012-07, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  2. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Karine Nyborg, 2014. "Social norms, morals and self-interest as determinants of pro-environment behaviour," Working Papers 2014-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

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