ECON 330 Pay as You Throw
ECON 330 Pay as You Throw
Recycling is an important endeavor with a multitude of beneficial impacts, both environmental and economic. From preserving natural resources by reducing the need for raw materials to curbing the amount of waste being directed to landfills, it can lead to significant reduction in energy usage, as well as positively impacting air quality by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions (Husock, 2020). Of course, there are costs associated with recycling that come into play; such as collecting, transporting, sorting and processing recyclable materials or the increased cost of newly developed recycled products in comparison to their non-recycled counterparts. Nevertheless, when executed properly, these losses can be more than made up for by ultimately creating sustainably powered economies and communities.
Despite the many benefits associated with recycling in theory, municipal recycling programs have proven to be uneconomical, and governments should no longer prop them up with subsidies. Instead, market-oriented approaches – such as incentivizing manufacturers to reduce pollution, using economic policies to reward environmentally friendly behaviors and businesses, and encouraging technologies that enable more efficient processes – should be used in place of traditional recycling programs (Hahladakis & Iacovidou, 2019). With the right kind of incentives in place, countries can finally make progress towards achieving the ambitious environmental goals set by society today.
To encourage a greater level of recycling, education and awareness campaigns, incentives, regulations, improved infrastructure, and redesigning products are all tools that can be utilized. By educating the public on the benefits of recycling and how to do it properly, the impact will be felt (Söderholm & Ekvall, 2020). Financial incentives to households and businesses can act as a powerful motivator to recycle more responsibly. Regulations could also go a long way in ensuring people follow through on their commitments to recycle. Convenient facilities for collecting recyclables should also be provided in public places, workplaces, and residential areas as well as educational materials about recycling given out with information about these facilities. Lastly, product redesign is necessary to make it easier and cost-effective to recycle certain materials. All of these strategies represent tangible steps that can be taken towards encouraging more responsible recycling behaviors within communities.
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I have learned that recycling is a practice that has both social and economic advantages thanks to the recycling assignment. Recycling specifically lowers waste, conserves natural resources, and uses less energy, all of which help to create a cleaner world. Recycling also generates jobs and has the potential to reduce expenses for both individuals and companies. Recycling can be viewed as a beneficial externality in microeconomics. In other words, it provides benefits for society that go beyond what individual recyclers can benefit from. Recycling helps people lessen the harmful externalities related to waste management, such as pollution and resource depletion. This may lead to decreased societal costs, increased productivity, and improved welfare. I can use my understanding of recycling to cut down on trash in my daily life. This could entail figuring out where to take recyclables and non-recyclable rubbish after sorting them. I can promote a healthier environment and lessen the negative externalities related to garbage disposal by doing this.
Hahladakis, J. N., & Iacovidou, E. (2019). An overview of the challenges and trade-offs in closing the loop of post-consumer plastic waste (PCPW): Focus on recycling. Journal of hazardous materials, 380, 120887. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304389419308404
Husock, H. (2020). The Declining Case for Municipal Recycling. The Manhattan Institute. https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/declining-case-for-municipal-recycling-HH.pdf
Söderholm, P., & Ekvall, T. (2020). Metal markets and recycling policies: Impacts and challenges. Mineral Economics, 33(1-2), 257-272. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13563-019-00184-5