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dc.contributor.advisorFell, Harrison
dc.contributor.advisorEggert, Roderick G.
dc.contributor.authorBatson, Brian M.
dc.date.accessioned2007-01-03T06:17:51Z
dc.date.accessioned2022-02-09T09:05:23Z
dc.date.available2007-01-03T06:17:51Z
dc.date.available2022-02-09T09:05:23Z
dc.date.issued2014
dc.date.submitted2014
dc.identifierT 7507
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/11124/420
dc.description2014 Spring.
dc.descriptionIncludes illustrations.
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (pages 78-81).
dc.description.abstractOver the past few decades, recycling has gained particular interest due to its beneficial effects on energy consumption, natural resource availability, and ultimately greenhouse gas emissions. However, while recycling generates these benefits, the policies enacted have not captured the potential benefits from materials that yield the highest returns, at least not consistently over time (e.g. aluminum and plastic beverage containers). This dissertation evaluates two mainstream recycling policies at the household-level, specifically deposit-refund systems and curbside recycling programs, to not only theoretically and empirically prove their positive influence on household recycling behavior, but to establish a temporal element to help guide policymakers in maintaining these policies over time in order to realize the full potential of recycling. The analyses provide new evidence on how recycling decisions are made at the household-level, and how regulators can use these decisions to maximize social welfare given various implemented recycling policies. Chapter 2 empirically tests how deposit-refund systems impact household recycling decisions. While it is expected that cash refunds provided by a regulator will positively alter the household's recycling decision, the range of data used for this analysis is sampled to focus on why beverage container redemption rates have declined over a particular time span. Additionally, it is found that keeping cash refunds constant from their implementation date result in redemption rate reductions due to time influencing factors, such as inflation and opportunity costs of recycling. Next, chapter 3 adds the availability of a curbside recycling program and a fixed amount of landfill space to explain which recycling method is preferred to a household under growing wages. It is theoretically shown that a household's recycling method decision changes over time when wages are expected to increase. Higher wages yield higher opportunity costs of not working, and therefore, a regulator should switch its subsidy focus from one policy to another in order to maximize social welfare and the municipality's recycling rates. Lastly, chapter 4 builds on the previous chapter to incorporate investment in waste-to-energy technologies, which provide the additional benefits of a "cleaner" energy source and slower landfill space depletion compared to traditional landfilling methods. It is concluded from the theoretical framework that waste-to-energy investments can have negative effects on recycling rates under a fixed regulator budget. This is because a regulator must choose between subsidizing recycling and investing in waste-to-energy technologies, which require large amounts of physical and financial capital. It is also concluded that the optimal investment time period is to occur once consumption reaches a certain level, and the net benefits from the investment outweigh the pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits received from recycling.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediumdoctoral dissertations
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherColorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes Library
dc.relation.ispartof2010-2019 - Mines Theses & Dissertations
dc.rightsCopyright of the original work is retained by the author.
dc.subjectrecycling
dc.subjectenvironmental policy
dc.subjectwaste-to-energy
dc.subject.lcshRecycling (Waste, etc.) -- Economic aspects
dc.subject.lcshRecycling (Waste, etc.) -- Cost effectiveness
dc.subject.lcshBeverage containers -- Recycling -- Economic aspects
dc.subject.lcshRefuse and refuse disposal -- Economic aspects
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental policy
dc.subject.lcshIncineration
dc.titleNot a "waste" of time: temporal recycling policies given household waste disposal actions
dc.typeText
dc.contributor.committeememberKaffine, Daniel
dc.contributor.committeememberBalistreri, Edward J. (Edward Jay)
dc.contributor.committeememberCuddington, John T.
dc.contributor.committeememberAnderson, Corby G.
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.disciplineEconomics and Business
thesis.degree.grantorColorado School of Mines


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