Why Do We Recycle?: Markets, Values, and Public Policy / Edition 2

Why Do We Recycle?: Markets, Values, and Public Policy / Edition 2

by Frank Ackerman
     
 

ISBN-10: 1559635053

ISBN-13: 9781559635059

Pub. Date: 12/28/1996

Publisher: Island Press

<p>The earnest warnings of an impending "solid waste crisis" that permeated the 1980s provided the impetus for the widespread adoption of municipal recycling programs. Since that time America has witnessed a remarkable rise in public participation in recycling activities, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and commercial and office programs. Recently,…  See more details below

Overview

<p>The earnest warnings of an impending "solid waste crisis" that permeated the 1980s provided the impetus for the widespread adoption of municipal recycling programs. Since that time America has witnessed a remarkable rise in public participation in recycling activities, including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and commercial and office programs. Recently, however, a backlash against these programs has developed. A vocal group of "anti- recyclers" has appeared, arguing that recycling is not an economically efficient strategy for addressing waste management problems.<p>In Why Do We Recycle? Frank Ackerman examines the arguments for and against recycling, focusing on the debate surrounding the use of economic mechanisms to determine the value of recycling. Based on previously unpublished research conducted by the Tellus Institute, , a nonprofit environmental research group in Boston, Massachusetts, Ackerman presents an alternative view of the theory of market incentives, challenging the notion that setting appropriate prices and allowing unfettered competition will result in the most efficient level of recycling. Among the topics he considers are: <ul> <li>externality issues-unit pricing for waste disposal, effluent taxes, virgin materials subsidies, advance disposal fees <li>the landfill crisis and disposal facility siting <li>container deposit ("bottle bill") legislation <li>environmental issues that fall outside of market theory <li>calculating costs and benefits of municipal recycling programs <li>life-cycle analysis and packaging policy-Germany's "Green Dot" packaging system and producer responsibility <li>the impacts of production in extractive and manufacturing industries <li>composting and organic waste management <li>economics of conservation, and material use and long-term sustainability </ul> Ackerman explains why purely economic approaches to recycling are incomplete and argues for a different kind of decisionmaking, one that addresses social issues, future as well as present resource needs, and non-economic values that cannot be translated into dollars and cents.<p>Backed by empirical data and replete with specific examples, the book offers valuable guidance for municipal planners, environmental managers, and policymakers responsible for establishing and implementing recycling programs. It is also an accessible introduction to the subject for faculty, students, and concerned citizens interested in the social, economic, and ethical underpinnings of recycling efforts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559635059
Publisher:
Island Press
Publication date:
12/28/1996
Edition description:
1
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Ch. 1Beyond the Trash Can7
Ch. 2Getting the Prices Wrong26
Ch. 3More Than the Market45
Ch. 4A Truck Is a Terrible Thing to Waste61
Ch. 5Drink Boxes, Styrofoam, and PVC85
Ch. 6The Dot Heard Around the World105
Ch. 7Bottle Bills, Litter, and the Cost of Convenience123
Ch. 8Organic Waste and the Virtue of Inaction142
Ch. 9The Hidden Utility158
Ch. 10Material Use and Sustainable Affluence173
Bibliography189
Index199

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