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The Determinants of Household Recycling: A Material Specific Analysis of Unit Pricing and Recycling Program Attributes

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  • Palmer, Karen

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Martinez, Salvador
  • Jenkins, Robin
  • Podolsky, Michael

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of two popular solid waste programs on the percent recycled of several different materials found in the residential solid waste stream. We examine a unique, national, household-level data set containing information on the percent recycled of five different materials: glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum, newspaper, and yard waste. We find that access to curbside recycling has a significant and substantial positive effect on the percentage recycled of all five materials and that the level of this effect varies across different materials. The length of the recycling program’s life has a significant and positive effect on two of the five materials and a mandatory recycling requirement does not affect any materials. The level of the unit price has an insignificant effect on all five materials.

Suggested Citation

  • Palmer, Karen & Martinez, Salvador & Jenkins, Robin & Podolsky, Michael, 1999. "The Determinants of Household Recycling: A Material Specific Analysis of Unit Pricing and Recycling Program Attributes," Discussion Papers dp-99-41-rev, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-99-41-rev
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Saltzman, Cynthia & Duggal, Vijaya G. & Williams, Mary L., 1993. "Income and the recycling effort: a maximization problem," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 33-38, January.
    2. Heleen Bartelings & Thomas Sterner, 1999. "Household Waste Management in a Swedish Municipality: Determinants of Waste Disposal, Recycling and Composting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(4), pages 473-491, June.
    3. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-984, September.
    4. repec:mes:challe:v:34:y:1991:i:6:p:58-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. George L. Van Houtven & Glenn E. Morris, 1999. "Household Behavior under Alternative Pay-as-You-Throw Systems for Solid Waste Disposal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 515-537.
    6. Seonghoon Hong & Richard M. Adams, 1999. "Household Responses to Price Incentives for Recycling: Some Further Evidence," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 505-514.
    7. Marie Lynn Miranda & Jess W. Everett & Daniel Blume & Barbeau A. Roy, 1994. "Market-based incentives and residential municipal solid waste," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 681-698.
    8. Scott J. Callan & Janet M. Thomas, 1997. "The Impact of State and Local Policies on the Recycling Effort," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 411-423, Fall.
    9. Hong Seonghoon & Adams Richard M. & Love H. Alan, 1993. "An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes: The Case of Portland, Oregon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 136-146, September.
    10. Deborah Vaughn Nestor & Michael J. Podolsky, 1998. "Assessing Incentive-Based Environmental Policies For Reducing Household Waste Disposal," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 401-411, October.
    11. Vijaya G. Duggal & Cynthia Saltzman & Mary L. Williams, 1991. "Recycling: An Economic Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 351-358, Jul-Sep.
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    Cited by:

    1. Calcott, Paul & Walls, Margaret, 2005. "Waste, recycling, and "Design for Environment": Roles for markets and policy instruments," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 287-305, November.
    2. van Beukering, Pieter J. H. & Bouman, Mathijs N., 2001. "Empirical Evidence on Recycling and Trade of Paper and Lead in Developed and Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1717-1737, October.
    3. Walls, Margaret & Calcott, Paul, 2000. "Policies to Encourage Recycling and "Design for Environment": What to Do When Markets are Missing," Discussion Papers dp-00-30, Resources For the Future.
    4. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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