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Cash Recycling, Waste Disposal Costs, and the Incomes of the Working Poor: Evidence from California

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  • Bevin Ashenmiller

Abstract

This paper finds that bottle laws reduce the costs of waste streams by diverting new material into recycling programs, in addition to increasing the income of the working poor. New survey data from California indicate that between 36% and 51% of the material generated by the redemption centers in Santa Barbara, California, would not have been captured by existing curbside recycling programs. California’s bottle law has an unusual structure, with redemption centers that pay by counting containers or by weighing the material recycled. The evidence suggests policy makers should consider structuring new bottle laws to encourage broader recycling.

Suggested Citation

  • Bevin Ashenmiller, 2009. "Cash Recycling, Waste Disposal Costs, and the Incomes of the Working Poor: Evidence from California," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(3), pages 539-551.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:85:y:2009:i:3:p:539-551
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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. James D. Reschovsky & Sarah E. Stone, 1994. "Market incentives to encourage household waste recycling: Paying for what you throw away," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 120-139.
    3. 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.
    4. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
    5. Ann Wolverton & Don Fullerton, 2000. "Two Generalizations of a Deposit-Refund Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 238-242.
    6. Hilary A. Sigman, 1995. "A Comparison of Public Policies for Lead Recycling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 452-478.
    7. Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "Optimal policies for solid waste disposal Taxes, subsidies, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 193-205.
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    Cited by:

    1. W. Kip Viscusi & Joel Huber & Jason Bell, 2011. "Promoting Recycling: Private Values, Social Norms, and Economic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 65-70.
    2. Tongzhe Li & Ana Espínola-Arredondo & Jill J. McCluskey, 2016. "Promoting Residential Recycling: An Alternative Policy Based on a Recycling Reward System," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-18, August.
    3. Acuff, Kaylee & Kaffine, Daniel T., 2013. "Greenhouse gas emissions, waste and recycling policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 74-86.
    4. Walls, Margaret, 2011. "Deposit-Refund Systems in Practice and Theory," Discussion Papers dp-11-47, Resources For the Future.
    5. Bevin Ashenmiller, 2011. "The Effect of Bottle Laws on Income: New Empirical Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 60-64.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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