SOCIAL INFORMATION AND WASTE DISPOSAL
(RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment and CMCC)
Abstract: The paper conducts an impact evaluation of a social information program on the disposal of unsorted waste. We pair with an Italian multi-utility that employs a hybrid Pay-as-you-Throw payment system for unsorted waste. This system is such that households pay a fixed amount when their yearly disposal is below a pre-defined cap, while for each unit exceeding the cap, households pay per unit. In the field experiment, one group of customers receives a report with information on the volume of unsorted waste compared to the average waste of similar neighbours. Another group receives the report with the social comparison and a remark on the amount corresponding to the disposal cap. A control group receives nothing. We analyse the main and heterogeneous treatment effects of the program on the volume of unsorted waste and the probability of passing the yearly threshold. We document a 5% reduction in the volume of unsorted waste compared to the control group. We also find that the reduction in unsorted waste boosts recycling behaviour.
The seminar will be in person: Room 20 of Building U6