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

  • Bevin Ashenmiller
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    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.

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    File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/85/3/539
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    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

    Volume (Year): 85 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 539-551

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:85:y:2009:i:3:p:539-551
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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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. Don Fullerton & Ann Wolverton, 2000. "Two Generalizations of a Deposit-Refund System," NBER Working Papers 7505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hilary A. Sigman, 1995. "A Comparison of Public Policies for Lead Recycling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 452-478, Autumn.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "Optimal policies for solid waste disposal Taxes, subsidies, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 193-205, August.
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