IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpot/0310001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Curbside Recycling: Waste Resource or Waste of Resources?

Author

Listed:
  • David Aadland

    (University of Wyoming)

  • Arthur J. Caplan

    (Utah State University)

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the social net benefits of curbside recycling. Benefits are estimated using survey data on household willingness to pay (WTP) from over 4,000 households across 40 western U.S. cities. We calibrate WTP for hypothetical bias using an experimental design that contrasts stated and revealed preferences. Cost estimates are compiled from previous studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Institute for Local Self Reliance, as well as from in-depth interviews with recycling coordinators in our sampled cities. Remarkably, we find that the estimated mean social net benefit of curbside recycling is almost exactly zero. Therefore, the decision of whether to implement or maintain a curbside recycling program (CRP) must be done on a city-by-city basis.

Suggested Citation

  • David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Curbside Recycling: Waste Resource or Waste of Resources?," Others 0310001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0310001
    Note: Type of Document - ; pages: 35
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/othr/papers/0310/0310001.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fullerton, Don & Wu, Wenbo, 1998. "Policies for Green Design," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 131-148, September.
    2. Haab, Timothy C. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 1997. "Referendum Models and Negative Willingness to Pay: Alternative Solutions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 251-270, February.
    3. Kinnaman, Thomas C. & Fullerton, Don, 2000. "Garbage and Recycling with Endogenous Local Policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 419-442, November.
    4. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
    5. Flores, Nicholas E., 2002. "Non-paternalistic altruism and welfare economics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 293-305, February.
    6. Jones-Lee, M W, 1992. "Paternalistic Altruism and the Value of Statistical Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 80-90, January.
    7. David Aadland & Arthur Caplan, 1999. "Household Valuation of Curbside Recycling," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 781-799.
    8. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    9. Aadland, David & Caplan, Arthur J., 2003. "Cheap Talk Revisited: New Evidence From Cvm," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22112, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. John C. Whitehead, 2002. "Incentive Incompatibility and Starting-Point Bias in Iterative Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(2), pages 285-297.
    11. Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
    12. Li Chuan-Zhong & Mattsson Leif, 1995. "Discrete Choice under Preference Uncertainty: An Improved Structural Model for Contingent Valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 256-269, March.
    13. Cameron, Trudy Ann & James, Michelle D, 1987. "Efficient Estimation Methods for "Closed-ended' Contingent Valuation Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 269-276, May.
    14. Caplan, Arthur J. & Grijalva, Therese C. & Jakus, Paul M., 2002. "Waste not or want not? A contingent ranking analysis of curbside waste disposal options," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 185-197, December.
    15. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
    16. W. Michael Hanemann, 1994. "Valuing the Environment through Contingent Valuation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 19-43, Fall.
    17. David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling with Detection and Mitigation of Hypothetical Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 492-502.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tongzhe Li & Ana Espínola-Arredondo & Jill J. McCluskey, 2016. "Promoting Residential Recycling: An Alternative Policy Based on a Recycling Reward System," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-18, August.
    2. Gorm Kipperberg & Douglas Larson, 2012. "Heterogeneous Preferences for Community Recycling Programs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(4), pages 577-604, December.
    3. Dominique Ami & Frédéric Aprahamian & Olivier Chanel & Stéphane Luchini, 2011. "A Test of Cheap Talk in Different Hypothetical Contexts: The Case of Air Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(1), pages 111-130, September.
    4. Bohara, Alok K. & Caplan, Arthur J. & Grijalva, Therese, 2007. "The effect of experience and quantity-based pricing on the valuation of a curbside recycling program," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 433-443, December.
    5. Wagner, Jeffrey, 2011. "Incentivizing sustainable waste management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 585-594, February.
    6. Brian Chi-ang Lin & Siqi Zheng & Ankinée Kirakozian, 2016. "One Without The Other? Behavioural And Incentive Policies For Household Waste Management," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 526-551, July.
    7. Carmelo J. León & Jorge E. Araña & Javier León & Matías M. González, 2016. "The Economic Benefits of Reducing the Environmental Effects of Landfills: Heterogeneous Distance Decay Effects," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(1), pages 193-218, January.
    8. Caplan, Arthur J. & Sims, Charles & Anderson, Elliot Jordan, 2014. "Measuring the environmental cost of hypocrisy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 124-135.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    curbside recycling; willingness to pay; social net benefits; hypothetical bias; calibration;

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0310001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: http://econwpa.repec.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.