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We want to sort! Assessing households’ preferences for sorting waste

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  • Czajkowski, Mikołaj
  • Kądziela, Tadeusz
  • Hanley, Nick

Abstract

There are two major ways in which solid waste can be sorted and recycled – at the household level, when households are required to sort waste into a given number of categories, or in specialised sorting facilities. Traditionally, it has been thought that sorting at the household level is an inconvenience, as it uses space and requires time and effort. Our study provides empirical evidence to the contrary, indicating that home sorting is a net source of utility for some people. Through a carefully designed choice experiment we collected stated choices from members of a Polish municipality with respect to the way their waste is sorted and how often it is collected. In the hypothetical scenario employed, respondents were informed that waste will be sorted anyway – if not at the household level then at a specialised sorting facility. Interestingly, analysis shows that a large group of people are willing to sort waste at the household level even if unsorted waste would be collected at no extra cost. For a minority, increased home sorting of waste would, however, impose a loss of utility. Overall, our results indicate that most respondents preferred to sort waste themselves if given the choice. We provide a few possible explanations of this perhaps surprising result, including the desire to promote a green external image, and a concern about the effectiveness of separation activities performed by others.

Suggested Citation

  • Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Kądziela, Tadeusz & Hanley, Nick, 2014. "We want to sort! Assessing households’ preferences for sorting waste," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 290-306.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:36:y:2014:i:1:p:290-306
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2013.05.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Beaumais & Apolline Niérat, 2019. "Exploring in-depth joint pro-environmental behaviors: a multivariate ordered probit approach," Working Papers hal-02361390, HAL.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:128:y:2019:i:c:p:150-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nick Hanley & Mikołaj Czajkowski, 2017. "Stated Preference valuation methods: an evolving tool for understanding choices and informing policy," Working Papers 2017-01, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:138-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. FIORILLO, Damiano & SENATORE, Luigi, 2016. "Self Image and Environmental Attitude and Behavior," CELPE Discussion Papers 140, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    7. Enni Ruokamo & Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Artti Juutinen & Rauli Svento, 2016. "Linking perceived choice complexity with scale heterogeneity in discrete choice experiments: home heating in Finland," Working Papers 2016-30, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1835-:d:115089 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Katarzyna Zagórska & Nick Hanley, 2018. "Social norms and pro-environment behaviours: heterogeneous response to signals," Working Papers 2018-13, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    10. repec:eee:ecolec:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:58-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:jeeman:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:181-216 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Heller, Marit H. & Vatn, Arild, 2017. "The divisive and disruptive effect of a weight-based waste fee," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 275-285.
    13. Marie Briguglio, 2016. "Household Cooperation In Waste Management: Initial Conditions And Intervention," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 497-525, July.
    14. Prasenjit Sarkhel & Sarmila Banerjee & Somdutta Banerjee, 2016. "Willingness to pay before and after program implementation: the case of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Bally Municipality, India," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 481-498, April.
    15. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4500-:d:186442 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Tobias Börger & Oliver Frör & Sören Weiß, 2017. "The relationship between perceived difficulty and randomness in discrete choice experiments: Investigating reasons for and consequences of difficulty," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2017-03, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    17. Tobias Börger & Joseph Cook, 2016. "Giving respondents “time to think” reduces response randomness in repeated discrete choice tasks," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2016-13, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    18. Jakob, Michael & Kübler, Dorothea & Steckel, Jan Christoph & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2017. "Clean up your own mess: An experimental study of moral responsibility and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 138-146.
    19. repec:eee:poleco:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:136-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Brent, Daniel A. & Ward, Michael B., 2018. "Energy efficiency and financial literacy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 181-216.
    21. Carmelo J. León & Jorge E. Araña & Javier León & Matías M. González, 2016. "The Economic Benefits of Reducing the Environmental Effects of Landfills: Heterogeneous Distance Decay Effects," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(1), pages 193-218, January.
    22. repec:eee:ecolec:v:166:y:2019:i:c:9 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Germà Bel & Raymond Gradus, 2014. "“Effects of unit-based pricing on the waste collection demand: a meta-regression analysis”," IREA Working Papers 201420, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2014.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Recycling; Choice modelling; G-MNL model; Solid waste management;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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