Improved Solid Waste Management Facility

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Waste Management 31 (2011) 800–808

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Waste Management
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/wasman

Using a contingent valuation approach for improved solid waste management facility: Evidence from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Rafia Afroz ⇑, Muhammad Mehedi Masud
Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management Science, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia

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This study employed contingent valuation method to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) of the households to improve the waste collection system in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The objective of this study is to evaluate how household WTP changes when recycling and waste separation at source is made mandatory. The methodology consisted of asking people directly about their WTP for an additional waste collection service charge to cover the costs of a new waste management project. The new waste management project consisted of two versions: version A (recycling and waste separation is mandatory) and version B (recycling and waste separation is not mandatory). The households declined their WTP for version A when they were asked to separate the waste at source although all the facilities would be given to them for waste separation. The result of this study indicates that the households were not conscious about the benefits of recycling and waste separation. Concerted efforts should be taken to raise environmental consciousness of the households through education and more publicity regarding waste separation, reducing and recycling. Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 23 April 2010 Accepted 23 October 2010 Available online 18 December 2010

1. Introduction Rapid population growth, urbanization, industrialization and economic development have resulted in the generation of an enormous volume of solid waste in residential areas throughout the world but particularly in the rapidly growing cities of the developing world. Improper solid waste management in these cities is impairing human health and causing economic, environmental and biological losses (Moghadam et al., 2009) and is rendering the local authorities of these cities a daunting task (Damghani et al., 2008). As a consequence, the management of solid waste continues to be a major challenge (Foo, 1997). The contingent valuation method (CVM) has been the most commonly used non-market valuation method for estimating the benefits of environmental goods and services as it can create hypothetical markets that can be used to elicit people’s willingness to pay (WTP) for changes in non-market goods, and in so doing, can be used to establish the benefits (Mitchell and Carson, 1989; Bishop and Romano, 1998; Carson et al., 2001). CVM is widely used all over the world in areas of economics such as in health economics (O’Shea et al., 2008; Borghi and Jan, 2008), cultural economics (Kim et al., 2007) and transportation safety and economics (Nor and Yusuff, 2003) as well as in environmental economics.

There is no direct market behavior through which economists can gather information about environmental benefits such as the benefits of waste management improvements. As suggested by NOAA (North Ocean Atlantic Association), CVM studies convey useful information for damage assessment including lost passive use values (Carson et al., 2003). In recent years, CVM has been extensively used in both developed and developing countries for valuation of a wide range of environmental goods and services (Whittington, 2002). CVM has thus emerged as the most direct and straightforward technique for evaluating public opinion on these topics, including the WTP to maintain or expand current programs. The drawback of the method is that responses are based on hypothetical situation rather than actual behavior. In the present study, CVM was employed to estimate the WTP of the households to improve the waste...
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