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Motivating Recycling: A Marginal Cost Analysis

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  • REBECCA Judge
  • ANTHONY Becker

Abstract

Areas considering alternative house-to-house recycling programs as a means of diverting material from landfills can determine the most efficient choice by comparing programs' marginal costs with diversion's marginal benefits. This paper describes a controlled field experiment that observed individual household recycling habits over a six-month period. The experiment monitored the quantity of material that households recycled under increasingly more convenient (and increasingly more costly) programs. The analysis here uses a Tobit model to determine how the quantity of material diverted varies as a function of convenience factors and demographic characteristics. The analysis compares the value of the expected marginal increase in diversion to the marginal cost of increasing recycling convenience to determine the efficient level of convenience for an area's recycling program. Copyright 1993 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • REBECCA Judge & ANTHONY Becker, 1993. "Motivating Recycling: A Marginal Cost Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(3), pages 58-68, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:11:y:1993:i:3:p:58-68
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.1993.tb00390.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Porter, Richard C., 1978. "A social benefit-cost analysis of mandatory deposits on beverage containers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 351-375, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas C. Kinnaman & Don Fullterton, 1999. "The Economics of Residential Solid Waste Management," NBER Working Papers 7326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Abbott, Andrew & Nandeibam, Shasikanta & O'Shea, Lucy, 2013. "Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 10-18.
    3. Paul Missios & Ida Ferrara, 2011. "A Cross-Country Study of Waste Prevention and Recycling," Working Papers 028, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    4. Campbell, Benjamin L. & Khachatryan, Hayk & Behe, Bridget K. & Hall, Charles & Dennis, Jennifer, 2014. "Crunch the Can or Throw the Bottle? Effect of “Bottle Deposit Laws” and Municipal Recycling Programs," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170379, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    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, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(4), pages 503-518, December.
    7. Ferrara, Ida & Missios, Paul, 2011. "A Cross-Country Study of Household Waste Prevention and Recycling: Assessing the Effective of Policy Instruments," MPRA Paper 70811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. Highfill, Jannett & McAsey, Michael, 1997. "Municipal Waste Management: Recycling and Landfill Space Constraints," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 118-136, January.

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