A case study analysis of household recycling behavior in and willingness to pay for a drop-off recycling program


As rural counties and communities with low population densities struggle to meet solid waste disposal needs, drop-off recycling has become a popular (and even mandated, in many cases) option for reducing solid waste for disposal. Yet, little information exists regarding expected participation, generation, and diversion rates. In addition, estimates of individual willingness to pay for drop-off recycling are needed to accurately assess the economic feasibility of a recycling program. This study utilized an in-depth survey of the Williamson County, Tennessee, drop-off recycling program to obtain information about rural/suburban drop-off recycling participation, generation, diversion, and willingness to pay. Four hundred eighty-six surveys were elicited from users of convenience centers and drop-off recycling sites. Actual weights of recyclables and/or garbage were obtained, as well as information about recycling and garbage behavior, generation, and collection, and socioeconomic and attitude information. This information, in addition to data collected by the operators of the program, was used to determine average participation rates for rural and suburban households by material and for any material and to develop models of participation in recycling individual materials as well as any material for rural and suburban households. Average generation rates for each material and all materials were obtained for rural and suburban households. Generation models were developed for each individual material and all materials for rural and suburban households. For rural households, an average garbage generation rate was obtained and a model of garbage generation was developed. In addition, municipal solid waste diversion rates for rural households were estimated. The contingent valuation method was used to estimate individual willingness to pay for a drop-off recycling program, and a model of the household\u27s willingness to pay response was developed

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