Do households export their recyclable waste?
Local policy makers in Flanders often claim that an important fraction of waste presented at their municipal recycling centres originates from nearby municipalities. If neighbouring municipalities charge significantly different prices at their recycling centres, residents indeed have an incentive to present their waste at the cheapest location. As the prices often do not reflect the true processing costs for the municipalities, waste imports are perceived as problematic by the local policy makers. In this paper we present a simple theoretical model of consumers’ demand for waste disposal facilities and test the predictions from the model using a set of spatial econometric tools. Our estimation results indicate that bulky household refuse quantities depend on the prices charged in neighbouring municipalities. For other waste fractions like demolition waste, garden waste, scrap metal and wood waste we find no proof of waste export. This is not surprising as we argue some waste fractions are more sensitive to spatial differences in prices than others.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://research.hubrussel.be|
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