Areas considering alternative house-to-house recycling programs as a means of diverting material from landfills can determine the most efficient choice by comparing programs' marginal costs with diversion's marginal benefits. This paper describes a controlled field experiment that observed individual household recycling habits over a six-month period. The experiment monitored the quantity of material that households recycled under increasingly more convenient (and increasingly more costly) programs. The analysis here uses a Tobit model to determine how the quantity of material diverted varies as a function of convenience factors and demographic characteristics. The analysis compares the value of the expected marginal increase in diversion to the marginal cost of increasing recycling convenience to determine the efficient level of convenience for an area's recycling program. Copyright 1993 Western Economic Association International.
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