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Lessons From Ten Years of Household Recycling in the United States

May 2018

Citation: ELR 10377

Author: W. Kip Viscusi, Joel Huber, and Jason Bell

Recycling is perhaps the most prevalent pro-environmental activity at the household level. And while most states have some sort of statewide recycling laws, new recycling initiatives have not been prominent. Has recycling behavior stabilized or perhaps dropped in the current era in which there have been fewer new state recycling initiatives? To explore recycling trends and the factors related to these trends, this Comment uses a comprehensive national database covering U.S. recycling over a 10-year period beginning in 2005. This analysis reveals a number of important findings.

W. Kip Viscusi is a University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics, and Management at Vanderbilt Law School. Joel Huber is the Alan D. Schwartz Professor of Marketing at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, where Jason Bell also is a Senior Staff Researcher.

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