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Household Waste Management in a Swedish Municipality: Determinants of Waste Disposal, Recycling and Composting

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  • Heleen Bartelings
  • Thomas Sterner

Abstract

This paper analyzes waste disposal, recycling and composting in a municipality in southwest Sweden. In 1994, Varberg introduced a weight-based billing system for household waste charging 1 kr/kg of waste and at the same time recycling centers were set up and a ‘green shopping’ campaign was launched. This led to a significant reduction in waste collected and increased recycling. This study had access to actual measured data on waste disposal at the household level for a residential area called Tvååker, in addition to survey data for the same households. This makes it possible to carry out a more reliable and more detailed analysis than has been previously possible, particularly with respect to attitudinal variables. The most important determinants of each individual household's waste were composting of kitchen waste, living area, age and attitudes concerning the difficulty of recycling various materials. Separate sections look at composting behaviour, at willingness to pay for sound waste management and for the sake of comparison three other municipalities are also studied. The main finding is that economic incentives, although important, are not the only driving force behind the observed reduction in municipal waste: Given the proper infrastructure that facilitates recycling, people are willing to invest more time than can be motivated purely by savings on their waste management bill. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Suggested Citation

  • Heleen Bartelings & Thomas Sterner, 1999. "Household Waste Management in a Swedish Municipality: Determinants of Waste Disposal, Recycling and Composting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(4), pages 473-491, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:13:y:1999:i:4:p:473-491
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008214417099
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fullerton Don & Kinnaman Thomas C., 1995. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 78-91, July.
    2. repec:mes:challe:v:34:y:1991:i:6:p:58-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Morris Glenn E. & Holthausen Jr. Duncan M., 1994. "The Economics of Household Solid Waste Generation and Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 215-234, May.
    4. Richardson, Robert A. & Havlicek, Joseph Jr., 1978. "Economic analysis of the composition of household solid wastes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 103-111, March.
    5. Marie Lynn Miranda & Jess W. Everett & Daniel Blume & Barbeau A. Roy, 1994. "Market-based incentives and residential municipal solid waste," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 681-698.
    6. Hong Seonghoon & Adams Richard M. & Love H. Alan, 1993. "An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes: The Case of Portland, Oregon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 136-146, September.
    7. Vijaya G. Duggal & Cynthia Saltzman & Mary L. Williams, 1991. "Recycling: An Economic Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 351-358, Jul-Sep.
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    Keywords

    waste management; recycling; incentives;

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