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Host Community Compensation and Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

  • Cynthia Morgan
  • Kelly B. Maguire
  • Robin R. Jenkins

Strong local opposition to the construction of solid waste landfills has become commonplace and the siting of landfills in the United States is time consuming and expensive. To ease the siting process, host compensation in exchange for permission to construct a landfill has become popular. The value and nature of host compensation varies dramatically across communities, but the reasons for this variation are relatively unexplored. We construct a national data set consisting of host fees paid by the 104 largest privately owned solid waste landfills in 1996, along with the characteristics of the landfills and the host communities. Our findings suggest that the direct participation of citizens in host fee negotiations, the community knowledge stemming from having hosted a prior landfill, and the presence of state mandates for minimum host compensation all lead to much greater amounts of host compensation. We find that the bargaining position of the landfill developer is less important, in terms of the magnitude of the effect. However we do find evidence that firms with deeper pockets are more likely to pay higher host fees. We find limited evidence that a community’s race and income level matter after accounting for factors that directly reflect citizen involvement. The analysis also indicates that landfills that accept risky wastes, such as contaminated soil or sludge, and problematic wastes, such as tires, pay higher host fees.

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File URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2002-04/$File/2002-04.PDF
File Function: First version, 2002
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Paper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 200204.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision: Aug 2002
Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200204
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  1. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, R.J.Ronald J., 2004. "'Optimal' pollution abatement--whose benefits matter, and how much?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 510-534, May.
  2. O'Sullivan Arthur, 1993. "Voluntary Auctions for Noxious Facilities: Incentives to Participate and the Efficiency of Siting Decisions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages S12-S26, July.
  3. James T. Hamilton, 1993. "Politics and Social Costs: Estimating the Impact of Collective Action on Hazardous Waste Facilities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 101-125, Spring.
  4. Ingberman Daniel E., 1995. "Siting Noxious Facilities: Are Markets Efficient?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S20-S33, November.
  5. Howard Kunreuther & Doug Easterling, 1996. "The role of compensation in siting hazardous facilities," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 601-622.
  6. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1999. "Do Community Characteristics Influence Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 691-716, April.
  7. James T. Hamilton, 1995. "Testing for environmental racism: Prejudice, profits, political power?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 107-132.
  8. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "The Old Lady Visits Your Backyard: A Tale of Morals and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1297-1313, December.
  9. Gayer, Ted, 2000. "Neighborhood Demographics and the Distribution of Hazardous Waste Risks: An Instrumental Variables Estimation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 131-55, March.
  10. Baden, Brett M. & Coursey, Don L., 2002. "The locality of waste sites within the city of Chicago: a demographic, social, and economic analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 53-93, February.
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