The economics literature on urban solid waste collection is scarce, although this type of services has undergone organizational as well as regulatory reforms. This research studies the cost structure of solid waste collection in order to explain why the costs caused by this service vary among municipalities. To do so, first we derive a cost function. We then specify and estimate an explanatory model on a sample of municipalities. Empirical results allow us to study scale economies and the impact on costs of some factors directly related to the service, such as recycling, frequency and location of a landfill in the municipality. In addition to this, we analyse the effects on costs of density, wage levels, peak periods and contracting out.environmental, management, local government, contracting-out, privatization
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