The implementation of thousands of municipal recycling programs in the United States has increased recycling’s portion of solid waste from 10% to 30% over the past decade. But the lack of accurate data has spurred a debate over whether the growth in recycling can be attributed to market or nonmarket factors. To address this issue, this article conducts a benefit-cost analysis of a municipal recycling program. Results suggest recycling is costly. So why, then, does it remain popular? This article suggests that local governments could be responding to households that perceive a benefit from recycling services. These benefits are estimated with a contingent valuation survey.
Journal of Public Works Management and Policy
Kinnaman, Thomas C.. "Explaining the Growth in Municipal Recycling Programs: The Role of Market and Non-Market Factors." Journal of Public Works Management and Policy (2000) : 37-51.