Willingness to Pay for Kerbside Recycling in the Brisbane Region
EERH Paper No. 97
22 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2011
Date Written: March 2011
Waste policy in Australia has a strong focus on kerbside recycling. This has a range of costs and benefits to the community, including non-market benefits. However, in Australia, there has been little investigation of household willingness to pay for kerbside recycling. This paper used mixed logit choice modelling to estimate the willingness to pay of households in Brisbane, Australia for kerbside waste collection services including kerbside recycling. It was found that households in Brisbane have a positive and significant willingness to pay of $131.49 per annum for fortnightly kerbside recycling and would be willing to pay an additional $18.30 to increase the frequency of this service to weekly. The utility of respondents was, however, found to decline by $34.18 per year if general waste collection increased from weekly to twice a week. Based on the assumptions used in this study it would appear that the willingness to pay for kerbside recycling exceeds the net financial costs of this service, suggesting that the scheme is economically efficient. However, the reported economic values for recycling may overstate the community’s true willingness to pay if household responses to the choice questions were confounded by their underlying perceptions about the environmental and resource sustainability benefits of recycling.
Keywords: waste policy, kerbside recycling, waste disposal costs
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