Measuring Impacts from Rate Incentives for Waste Reduction

Municipalities across the nation are looking to new forms of residential refuse rates to encourage waste reduction and diversion while creating revenues. Garbage rates based on the volume or weight of each customer's garbage has been seen as a promising solution and billing by volume or weight has now become reality. Over the last few years, various forms of incentive-based fee systems have increased dramatically. Such systems include (1) pre-paid bag systems; and (2) pre-paid sticker or tag systems, which are called volume-based systems because they provide varying rates to customers based on different volumes of disposed waste. Another alternative are weight-based systems which offer the customer incentives every week of the year and provide fair billing. This specific study analyzed the differences in recycling and yard waste disposal from rate incentives and the specific structure or design of the rate incentives. Skumatz Economic Research Associates (SERA), who conducted the study, were interested in using different techniques to measure source reduction, recycling, and yard waste impacts of rate incentives in solid waste.
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