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Examining the effectiveness of municipal waste diversion inventives

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Summary of paper evaluating the effectiveness of Ontario's Blue Box municipal funding methodology

Published in: Environment
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Examining the effectiveness of municipal waste diversion inventives

  1. 1.   The relationship between municipal waste diversion  incentivization and recycling system performance http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344915301336 By: Dr. Calvin Lakhan http://wastewiki.info.yorku.ca/ lakhanc@yorku.ca
  2. 2. Overview • Study examined the effects of municipal recycling incentivization on municipal recycling rates and program costs in Ontario (Blue Box) • 223 Municipalities over a 10 year period • Study focused on: • Examine the efficacy of Ontario’s municipal incentivization model • Do municipalities respond to financial incentives by either increasing total recycling or decreasing costs?
  3. 3. Methods • Data obtained from the Waste Diversion Ontario Data Call (223 municipalities over a 10 year period) • Regression model developed to gauge how current year recycling rates & program costs are affected by prior year transfer payments • Variables in the regression include: RR = Municipal Recycling Rates (%) PC = Municipal Program Costs ($) TP = Municipal transfer payments ($) PE = Municipal promotion and education expenditures (per household) ($) PAYT = 1 if municipality implements pay as you throw scheme (0 otherwise) CURB = 1 if municipality implements a curbside recycling system (0 otherwise) INC = Median income Per Capita ($) AGE = Median Age EDUC = % of Population with College education or higher DEN = Population Density per square kilometer
  4. 4. Results • No relationship between incentives and improved program performance (measured as either an increase in diversion or decrease in cost) • Evidence to suggest the opposite is occurring – recipients of transfers perform worse over time, while those who are “punished” for being poor performers continue to experience lower relative levels of performance
  5. 5. Conclusions • Serious questions regarding the efficacy of Ontario’s municipal funding methodology • No evidence to suggest municipal incentives encourage waste diversion or reduce program costs • Stakeholder perception surrounding the efficacy of the incentive model is largely negative
  6. 6. Conclusions • Serious questions regarding the efficacy of Ontario’s municipal funding methodology • No evidence to suggest municipal incentives encourage waste diversion or reduce program costs • Stakeholder perception surrounding the efficacy of the incentive model is largely negative

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