The Cost of Reducing Municipal Solid Waste

Palmer, Karen L; Sigman, Hilary; Walls, Margaret (1997). The cost of reducing municipal solid waste. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management , 33, 128-150.

The writers examine three price-based policies for solid waste reduction, namely, deposit/refunds, advance disposal fees, and recycling subsidies. They parameterize a simple model of waste disposal using supply and demand elasticities from previous literature and 1990 quantities and prices of aluminum, paper, glass, plastic, and steel. They investigate opportunities to lower these wastes by means of both recycling and source reduction. Their findings reveal that the deposit/refund is the least expensive of the policies and that a 7.5-percent reduction of the wastes in the model would have been efficient in 1990.

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