Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 221–238 | Cite as

Recycling and Waste Diversion Effectiveness: Evidence from Canada

  • Ida Ferrara
  • Paul Missios


In this paper, we investigate the relationship between recycling policy options and recycling behavior to study the most effective methods of diverting post-consumer waste from landfills. We employ data from a unique, micro-data set collected from households in communities across Ontario, Canada. We estimate the relationships between several commonly recycled materials (newsprint, glass, plastics, aluminum cans, tin cans, cardboard, and toxic chemicals) and individual household characteristics, recycling program attributes, and garbage collection financing methods. We find that user fees on garbage collection have significant impacts on recycling levels for all materials except toxic chemicals, and mandatory recycling programs on particular items have significant effects on recycling for almost all materials. Limits on the amount of garbage that can be placed at the curb, and providing free units under user fee systems, however, generally have a negligible or detrimental impact on recycling.


environmental policy household waste ordered probit recycling user fees 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atri, S., Schellberg, T. 1995‘Efficient Management of Household Solid Waste: A General Equilibrium Model’Public Finance Quarterly23339Google Scholar
  2. Callan, S. J., Thomas, J. M. 1997‘The Impact of State and Local Policies on the Recycling Effort’Eastern Economic Journal2341123Google Scholar
  3. Callan, S. J., Thomas, J. M. 1999‘Adopting a Unit Pricing System for Municipal Solid Waste: Policy and Socio-Economic Determinants’Environmental and Resource Economics14503518Google Scholar
  4. Dinan, T. M. 1993‘Economic Efficiency Effects of Alternative Policies for Reducing Waste Disposal’Journal of Environmental Economics and Management25242256Google Scholar
  5. Ferrara, I. (2000), ‘Household Solid Waste Production: The Impact of Waste Collection Charges through Pick-Up Frequency’, working paper.Google Scholar
  6. Ferrara, I. 2003‘Differential Provision of Solid Waste Collection Services in the Presence of Heterogeneous Households’Environmental and Resource Economics26211226Google Scholar
  7. Fullerton, D., Kinnaman, T. C. 1995‘Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping’Journal of Environmental Economics and Management297891Google Scholar
  8. Fullerton, D., Kinnaman, T. C. 1996‘Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag’American Economic Review86971984Google Scholar
  9. Hong, S., Adams, R. M., Love, H. A. 1993‘An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes: The Case of Portland Oregon’Journal of Environmental Economics and Management25136146Google Scholar
  10. Hong, S., Richard, M. A. 1999‘Household Responses to Price Incentives for Recycling: Some Further Evidence’Land Economics75505514Google Scholar
  11. Jenkins, R. R. 1993The Economics of Solid Waste Reduction: The Impact of User FeesEdward ElgarCheltenham, UKGoogle Scholar
  12. Jenkins, R. R., Martinez, S. A., Palmer, K., Podolsky, M. J. 2003‘The Determinants of Household Recycling: A Material Specific Analysis of Recycling Program Features and Unit Pricing’Journal of Environmental Economics and Management45294318Google Scholar
  13. Linderhof, V., Kooreman, P., Allers, M., Wiersma, D. 2001‘Weight-based Pricing in the Collection of Household Waste: the Oostzaan Case’Resource and Energy Economics23359371Google Scholar
  14. Kinnaman, T. C., Fullerton, D. 2000‘Garbage and Recycling with Endogenous Local Policy’Journal of Urban Economics48419442Google Scholar
  15. Miranda, M. L., Aldy, J. E. 1998‘Unit Pricing of Residential Municipal Waste: Lessons from Nine Case Study Communities’Journal of Environmental Management527993Google Scholar
  16. Nestor, D. V., Podolsky, M. J. 1998‘Assessing Incentive-based Environmental Policies for Reducing Household Waste Disposal’Contemporary Economic Policy16401411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Palmer, K., Sigman, H., Walls, M. 1997‘The Cost of Reducing Municipal Solid Waste’Journal of Environmental Economics and Management33128150Google Scholar
  18. Reschovsky, J. D., Stone, S. E. 1994‘Market Incentives to Encourage Household Waste Recycling’Journal of Policy Analysis and Management13120139Google Scholar
  19. Saltzman, C., Duggal, V. G., Williams, M. L. 1993‘Income and Recycling Effort: A Maximization Problem’Energy Economics153338Google Scholar
  20. Skumatz, L. (1994), ‘Pay As You Throw: Variable Rate Incentives in Solid Waste Management’, in Proceedings of the Air and Waste Management Association International Symposium, pp. 277–288. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Air and Waste Management Association.Google Scholar
  21. Sterner, T., Bartelings, H. 1999‘Household Waste Management in a Swedish Municipality: Determinants of Waste Disposal, Recycling and Composting’Environmental and Resource Economics13473491Google Scholar
  22. Van Houtven, G. L., Morris, G. E. 1999‘Household Behavior under Alternative Pay-As-You-Throw Systems for Solid Waste Disposal’Land Economics75515537Google Scholar
  23. Wertz, K. L. 1978‘Economic Factors Influencing Households’ Production of Refuse’Journal of Environmental Economics and Management2263272Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics, SASIT, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional StudiesYork UniversityNorth YorkCanada
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations