Curbside Recycling in the Presence of Alternatives

Economic Inquiry, Vol. 45, Issue 4, pp. 739-755, October 2007

17 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2007

See all articles by Timothy K. M. Beatty

Timothy K. M. Beatty

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter Berck

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics

Jay Shimshack

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Abstract

We measure the extent to which curbside access affects quantity recycled. We use novel data to distinguish between new recycling and material diverted from other recycling modes. We find that the marginal impact of expanding curbside programs on total recycled quantities is small, in part because curbside programs significantly cannibalize returns from drop-off recycling centers. Failure to account for cannibalization from other modes may substantially overestimate the benefits of curbside programs. We conclude with simple cost-effectiveness comparisons. Results suggest that incremental expansion of curbside access may not be cost-effective.

JEL Classification: Q53, Q58, H72

Suggested Citation

Beatty, Timothy K. M. and Berck, Peter and Shimshack, Jay, Curbside Recycling in the Presence of Alternatives. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 45, Issue 4, pp. 739-755, October 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1022731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2007.00055.x

Timothy K. M. Beatty (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Peter Berck

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Jay Shimshack

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States

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