Environmental Management

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 121–129 | Cite as

Household Demand for Waste Recycling Services

  • Ruslana Palatnik
  • Ofira Ayalon
  • Mordechai Shechter
Article

Abstract

Municipalities everywhere are coping with increasing amounts of solid waste and need urgently to formulate efficient and sustainable solutions to the problem. This study examines the use of economic incentives in municipal waste management. Specifically, we address the issue of recycling, if and when this waste management option is—on social welfare grounds—a preferred solution.

A number of studies have recently assessed the monetary value of the externalities of alternative solid waste management options. In the present context, these subsidies could be interpreted as the implicit value of the benefits from reducing environmental externalities associated with landfilling as perceived by local government authorities. We surmise that the difference between mean households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for recycling services, via the purchase of a subsidized waste disposal facility, and the above (proxy) value of externalities reflects the difference between private and public perception regarding the negative externality associated with landfilling. We believe that this information is useful in determining the level of subsidization needed (if at all) to sustain any recycling program.

The study is unique in the sense that its conclusions are based on revealed household behavior when faced with increased disposal costs, as well as information on WTP responses in hypothetical but related (and, therefore, familiar) scenarios. The article also explores the influence of the subsidization schemes on recycling rates. It was found that with low levels of effort needed to participate in a curbside recycling program, households’ participation rates are mainly influenced by economic variables and age, and households are willing to pay a higher price for the recycling scheme. When the required effort level is relatively high, however, households would pay a lower price, and the rate is influenced mainly by their environmental commitment and by economic considerations. We found that in both cases a subsidy would be required in order to achieve an efficient level of recycling. The median price that households are willing to pay for recycling devices is found to be about NIS 370 (New Israeli Shekel, approximately $90).

Keywords

Municipal solid waste (MSW) Willingness to pay (WTP) Recycling, Composting Economic incentives 

Literature Cited

  1. Artzi, A., and Aharon. 2001. Waste recycling in Israel—Findings and targets. Israel Union for Environmental Defense. Available at http://www.iued.org.il (in Hebrew)
  2. Avnimelech, Y. 1997

    Land application of composted municipal wastes

    Chremisinoff, P. N. eds. Ecological issues & environmental impact assessment. Advances in environmental control technologyGulf PublishingHouston, Texas551570
    Google Scholar
  3. Ayalon, O. 1999

    Priorities in municipal solid waste treatment

    Avnimelech, Y. eds. National priorities in environmental quality in IsraelThe Neaman Institute PublishingHaifa, Israel8/18/17in Hebrew
    Google Scholar
  4. Ayalon, O., Avnimelech, Y., Shechter, M. 1999

    Issues in designing an effective solid waste policy: The Israeli experience

    Sterner, T. eds. The market and the environment: The effectiveness of market based in reply to instruments for environmental reformEdward Elgar, Cheltenham, CheltenhamUK389406
    Google Scholar
  5. Biotec. 1995. Composition of solid waste in Israel. Survey for the Ministries of the Environment and Interior (in Hebrew)Google Scholar
  6. Callan, S. J., Thomas, J. M. 1999Adopting a unit pricing system for municipal solid waste: Policy and socioeconomic determinantsEnvironmental and Resource Economics14503518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Central Bureau of Statistics, 2003. Real interest rate of govermental bonds, Israel. (Available at http://www.cbs.gov.il/)
  8. Enosh Consultants Ltd. 1996. Examination of external costs of waste disposal. Ministry of the Environment, the Waste Department (in Hebrew)Google Scholar
  9. Fullerton, D., Kinnaman, T. 1995Garbage, recycling, and illicit burning or dumpingJournal of Environmental Economics and Management297891JulyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goren, T. 1997. Assessment of external costs in waste disposal sites. Final paper for the degree of Master of Agriculture Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (in Hebrew)Google Scholar
  11. Hanemann, M. 1984Welfare evaluations in contingent valuation experiments with discrete responsesAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics66332342Google Scholar
  12. Jenkins, R. J., S. A. Martinez, K. Palmer, and M. J.Podolsky, 1999. The determinants of household recycling: A material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricing. Draft presented in 9th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, OsloGoogle Scholar
  13. Jenkins, R. J., Martinez, S. A., Palmer, K., Podolsky, M. J. 2003The determinants of household recycling: A material-specific analysis of recycling program features and unit pricingJournal of Environmental Economics and Management45294318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kinnaman,T.C., and D. Fullerton (2000/2001) The economics of residential solid waste management. In H. Folmer and T. Tietenberg, The international year book of environmental and resource economics 2001/2002. Edward Elger, Cheltenham, UK, 100–147.Google Scholar
  15. Palatnik, R. 2002. Assessment of demand for recycling services of household solid waste. Masters thesis, Haifa University, The Faculty of Economics (in Hebrew)Google Scholar
  16. Reiser, B., Shechter, M. 1999Incorporating zero values in the economic valuation of environmental program benefitsEnvironmetrics1087101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sterner, T., Bartelings, H. 1999Household waste management in a Swedish municipality: Determinants of disposal, recycling and compostingEnvironmental and Resource Economics13473491CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruslana Palatnik
    • 1
  • Ofira Ayalon
    • 1
  • Mordechai Shechter
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Resource & Environmental Research CenterUniversity of HaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations