We measure the extent to which curbside access affects quantity recycled. We use novel data to distinguish between new recycling and material diverted from other recycling modes. We find that the marginal impact of expanding curbside programs on total recycled quantities is small, in part because curbside programs significantly cannibalize returns from drop‐off recycling centers. Failure to account for cannibalization from other modes may substantially overestimate the benefits of curbside programs. We conclude with simple cost‐effectiveness comparisons. Results suggest that incremental expansion of curbside access may not be cost‐effective. (JEL Q53, Q58, H72)
Economic Inquiry – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2007
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