We want to sort! – assessing households’ preferences for sorting waste
There are two major ways in which solid waste can be sorted and recycled – at the household level, when households are required to sort waste into a given number of categories, or in specialized sorting facilities. Traditionally, it has been thought that sorting at the household level is an inconvenience, as it uses space and requires time and consideration. Our study provides empirical evidence to the contrary. Through a carefully designed choice experiment we collected stated choices of the members of a Polish municipalities with respect to the way their waste is sorted and how often it is collected. In the scenario of our study, respondents were informed that the waste will be sorted anyway – if not at the household level than at a specialized sorting facility. Interestingly, analysis of the preferences of members of the general public shows, that people are willing to sort waste at the household level, even if unsorted waste would be collected at no extra cost. We calculate maximum willingness to pay for collecting sorted vs. unsorted waste, as well for increased frequency of collection. Overall, our results provide encouraging evidence that most people prefer to sort waste themselves if given the choice, and thus demonstrate their pro-environment preferences, even without economic incentives to do so.
|Date of creation:||2012|
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