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Landfilling Versus ``Backstop'' Recycling When Income Is Growing

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  • Jannett Highfill

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  • Michael McAsey

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Abstract

The paper considers a dynamic model in which an income stream,growing over time, is optimally divided into consumption andexpenditures on waste disposal, the latter being optimally dividedbetween ``recycling''and ``landfilling.'' Recycling is thoughtof as a ``backstop'' waste disposal technology – it does notrequire landfill space but is a relatively expensive method ofwaste disposal. Landfilling uses up scarce landfill capacity. While conserving landfill space is the major reason themunicipality recycles, another motive for recycling might be thatrecycling itself generates utility. Our analysis suggests thatthe optimal recycling program varies considerably with bothlandfill capacity and initial income. For example, richermunicipalities are likely to introduce recycling much earlier inthe planning period than poorer municipalities. Thus whenlegislating recycling, national or regional governments must besensitive to the differences between municipalities. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Jannett Highfill & Michael McAsey, 2001. "Landfilling Versus ``Backstop'' Recycling When Income Is Growing," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(1), pages 37-52, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:19:y:2001:i:1:p:37-52
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011158511648
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1011158511648
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huhtala, Anni, 1999. "Optimizing production technology choices: conventional production vs. recycling," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Endress, Lee H & Roumasset, James A, 1994. "Golden Rules for Sustainable Resource Management," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(210), pages 267-277, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Tiller, Kelly & Jakus, Paul M. & Park, William M., 1997. "Household Willingness To Pay For Dropoff Recycling," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 22(02), December.
    5. Prell, Mark A., 1996. "Backstop Technology and Growth: Doomsday or Steady State?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 254-264, March.
    6. Choe, Chongwoo & Fraser, Iain, 1998. "The economics of household waste management: a review," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 42(3), September.
    7. Anni Huhtala, 1997. "A Post-Consumer Waste Management Model for Determining Optimal Levels of Recycling and Landfilling," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 301-314, October.
    8. Deborah Vaughn Nestor & Michael J. Podolsky, 1998. "Assessing Incentive-Based Environmental Policies For Reducing Household Waste Disposal," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 401-411, October.
    9. Klaus Conrad, 1999. "Resource and Waste Taxation in the Theory of the Firm with Recycling Activities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(2), pages 217-242, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Corato, Luca & Montinari, Natalia, 2014. "Flexible waste management under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(1), pages 174-185.
    2. Cogoy, Mario, 2009. "A Model of Eco-Efficiency and Recycling," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 3, pages 1-30.
    3. Jong Seok Lim & Paul Missios, 2007. "Does size really matter? Landfill scale impacts on property values," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(10), pages 719-723.
    4. Matthew Gunter, 2007. "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Household and Municipal Recycling?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(1), pages 83-111, January.
    5. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2008. "Waste Generation, Incineration and Landfill Diversion. De-coupling Trends, Socio-Economic Drivers and Policy Effectiveness in the EU," Working Papers 2008.94, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2009. "Municipal Waste Kuznets Curves: Evidence on Socio-Economic Drivers and Policy Effectiveness from the EU," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(2), pages 203-230, October.
    7. Shmelev, S.E. & Powell, J.R., 2006. "Ecological-economic modelling for strategic regional waste management systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 115-130, August.

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    Keywords

    income; landfill; municipal; recycling; waste management;

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