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Abstract

The city of Waterville, Maine has experienced many struggles with establishing an economically and socially beneficial method for collecting recyclables from residents. In 2006, the town made the choice to terminate its curbside recycling pickup and open the Skills facility, where residents were able to transport there recyclables and dispose of them at the facility. This proved to also not be economically beneficial and the town ended this option for residents in 2012. The motivation behind establishing a new recycling program in Waterville is making Waterville more environmentally friendly, the creation of jobs for residents in the trash collecting business, moral obligation, and interest in public priorities. This paper aims to assess what the potential opportunities are for reinstating a curbside pickup recycling program in the town of Waterville. Through use of a choice experiment the aim is to quantify the utility Waterville residents put on a curbside-recycling program. The survey was conducted as a door-to-door survey by students in EC231-Enviorenmental and Natural Resource Economics. We find that respondents are willing to pay more for curbside pick-up than drop-recycling and the there is no significant difference between the WTP for sorted and unsorted recycling. We also find that households that currently recycle, that have a higher income and that are more educated are willing to pay more for recycling.

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