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Greenhouse gas emissions, waste and recycling policy

Kaylee Acuff and Daniel Kaffine

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2013, vol. 65, issue 1, 74-86

Abstract: This paper examines least-cost policies for waste reduction, incorporating upstream greenhouse gas externalities associated with the production of consumption goods from various materials. In particular, we decompose the effect of deposit/refund, advance disposal fees, and recycling subsidies on upstream greenhouse gas emissions. We find that the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are of the same order as or larger than the benefits of reducing solid waste disposal, implying larger optimal total waste reduction than previous studies. Furthermore, the least-cost intervention levels will be material-specific and vary substantially across materials. Finally, despite the reductions in emissions implied by increased recycling rates, direct recycling subsidies are more costly and generate less emissions reductions than a deposit/refund or advance disposal fee.

Keywords: Greenhouse gas emissions; Waste; Recycling; Upstream externalities; Environmental policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.05.003

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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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