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Households’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Urban Waste Management in Mekelle City, Ethiopia


  • Hagos, Dagnew
  • Mekonnen, Alemu
  • Gebreegziabher, Zenebe


Cities in developing countries experiencing rapid urbanization and population growth too often lack the financial resources and institutional capacity to provide needed municipal infrastructure for adequate solid waste management, despite citizens’ demand for it. This paper uses a cross-sectional survey of 226 randomly selected households in Mekelle City, Ethiopia, to assess the current municipal sanitation fees and the willingness to pay (WTP) of residents for improved urban waste management, and suggests mechanisms for cost recovery. We used Tobit and probit models in the empirical analysis to determine the factors that influence households’ WTP for improved solid waste management. Results reveal that residents’ WTP for improved solid waste management is significantly related to income and awareness of environmental quality, among other factors. Study results reveal that the current city fee for sanitation is far below the WTP of the residents. The mean WTP we found can be a guide for municipal officials in setting a more appropriate fee that can finance improvements in city SWM, where all households receive collection services, waste is disposed of properly, and recycling and composting features are added.

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  • Hagos, Dagnew & Mekonnen, Alemu & Gebreegziabher, Zenebe, 2012. "Households’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Urban Waste Management in Mekelle City, Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-12-06-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-06-efd

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
    2. Richard T. Carson & W. Michael Hanemann & Raymond J. Kopp & Jon A. Krosnick & Robert Cameron Mitchell & Stanley Presser, 1998. "Referendum Design And Contingent Valuation: The Noaa Panel'S No-Vote Recommendation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 484-487, August.
    3. Altaf, Mir Anjum & Deshazo, J. R., 1996. "Household demand for improved solid waste management: A case study of Gujranwala, Pakistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 857-868, May.
    4. Pek, Chuen Khee & Othman, Jamal, 2010. "Household Demand for Solid Waste Disposal Options in Malaysia," MPRA Paper 23143, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. W. Michael Hanemann, 1984. "Welfare Evaluations in Contingent Valuation Experiments with Discrete Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 66(3), pages 332-341.
    6. Weldesilassie, Alebel B. & Fror, Oliver & Boelee, Eline & Dabbert, Stephan, 2009. "The Economic Value of Improved Wastewater Irrigation: A Contingent Valuation Study in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(3), December.
    7. Peter Tait & Lana Friesen & Ross Cullen, 2005. "Will unit pricing reduce domestic waste? Lessons from a contingent valuation study," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 83-103.
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    More about this item


    urban waste management; willingness to pay; cost recovery; developing countries; cities;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental 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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