Which US municipalities adopt Pay-As-You-Throw and curbside recycling?

R.H.J.M. Gradus*, George Homsey, Lu Liao, Mildred Warner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This study investigates the drivers of curbside recycling program adoption and Pay as You Throw (PAYT) program adoption in 1,856 US local governments using a 2015 survey. While 50% of municipalities and counties adopt curbside recycling programs, we find that the adoption of curbside recycling is limited by capacity constraints; local governments with lower per capita public expenditures and more poverty are less likely to implement curbside recycling. PAYT programs are less common overall (10% of municipalities) and less common in richer communities and more common in communities with higher education levels. Local official political affiliation is not significant in either model. Both programs are less likely in rural places. Our results point to the need for local governments adopting such innovations to address equity, capacity constraints, and efficiency concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Curbside collection
  • Local government
  • Unit-based waste pricing
  • US

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