Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Waterman, Donna Ruth URN etd-08012012-040434 Title Curbside collection of recyclable materials :fifteen cases studies in the United States Degree Master of Science Department Environmental Sciences and Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Sherrard, Joseph H. Committee Chair Conn, W. David Committee Member Cox, William E. Committee Member Geller, E. Scott Committee Member Keywords
- Refuse and refuse disposal
Date of Defense 1988-03-01 Availability restricted AbstractFifteen curbside recycling programs in the United States, from communities representing
a variety of economic, geographic and political situations, were reviewed in this study.
Case studies were analyzed and discussed with respect to four areas of interest to program
planners: administration, operations, promotion and evaluation. No objective
rating of the programs was attempted, but approaches were reviewed with respect to
their ability to satisfy the goals of the programs. Comparisons of participation rates,
waste diversion rates, and costs were used cautiously because of the inconsistencies in
how the data were developed from program to program.
Administrative approaches found in the case studies included: (a) complete ownership
of the collection and processing system by municipalities; (b) contracted service by private
waste management firms; (c) contracted or subsidized service by non-profit organizations;
and (d) combinations of municipal, private, and non-profit services.
Operational systems were examined with respect to the effectiveness of the service in
stimulating participation, given the practical, political, and budgetary constraints. Variables
of operation are closely related and include: (a) which materials are collected; (b)
the degree of materials separation required; (c) the type of collection vehicle(s) used; (d)
collection frequency and coincidence with garbage collection; (e) the provision of in home
containers; and (t) the extent of post-collection materials processing.
Four categories of promotional techniques used in curbside recycling programs were
discussed: (a) publicity and education; (b) personal contact; (c) economic incentives; and
(d) ordinances mandating source-separation. The impacts of these techniques on participation
in the case study programs were discussed.
Techniques for evaluating the efficacy of curbside recycling programs were also discussed. Participation rates, waste diversion rates, and cost were reviewed with respect
to current usage and recommendations were made for increasing their usefulness as indicators
of the success of programs or program elements.
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