Title

Determining the Socially Optimal Recycling Rate

Publication Date

2014

Journal

Resources Conservation and Recycling

Volume

85

Issue

SI

First Page

5

Last Page

10

Abstract

What municipal recycling rate is socially optimal? One credible answer would consider the recycling rate that minimizes the overall social costs of managing municipal waste. Such social costs are comprised of all budgetary costs and revenues associated with operating municipal waste and recycling programs, all costs to recycling households associated with preparing and storing recyclable materials for collection, all external disposal costs associated with waste disposed at landfills or incinerators, and all external benefits associated with the provision of recycled materials that foster environmentally efficient production processes. This paper discusses how to estimate these four components of social cost to then estimate the optimal recycling rate. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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