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How a Fee Per-Unit Garbage Affects Aggregate Recycling in a Model with Heterogeneous Households

  • Thomas C. Kinnaman
  • Don Fullerton

This paper develops a utility maximizing model of household choice among garbage disposal, recycling, and littering. The impact of a user fee for garbage collection is modelled for heterogeneous households with different preferences for recycling. The model explains (1) why some households participate in curbside recycling programs even in the absence of a user fee, (2) why other households do not participate, even in the presence of a user fee, and (3) why some households choose to litter when others do not. Household choices are aggregated to determine the effect of a user fee on the community-wide quantities of garbage, recycling, and litter. We show how an increase in the user fee can decrease aggregate recycling.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4905.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4905.

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Date of creation: Oct 1994
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Publication status: published as Public Economics and the Environment in an Imperfect World, ed. by A.L. Bovenberg and S. Crossen; Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers (1995): 135-159.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4905
Note: PE
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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. 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.
  3. Sullivan, Arthur M., 1987. "Policy options for toxics disposal: Laissez-faire, subsidization, and enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 58-71, March.
  4. Dinan Terry M., 1993. "Economic Efficiency Effects of Alternative Policies for Reducing Waste Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 242-256, November.
  5. Copeland, Brian R., 1991. "International trade in waste products in the presence of illegal disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 143-162, March.
  6. Ian M. Dobbs, 1991. "Litter and Waste Management: Disposal Taxes versus User Charges," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 221-27, February.
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