Household Informedness and Policy Analytics for the Collection and Recycling of Household Hazardous Waste in California

Kustini Lim-Wavde*, Robert J. Kauffman, Gregory S. Dawson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Collection and recycling of household hazardous waste (HHW) can vary due to differences in household incomes, demographics, material recyclability, and HHW collection programs. We evaluate the role of household informedness, the degree to which households have the necessary information to make utility-maximizing decisions about the handling of their waste. Household informedness seems to be influenced by HHW public education and environmental quality information. We assess the effects of household informedness on HHW collection and recycling using panel data, community surveys, drinking water compliance reports, and census data in California from 2004 to 2012. The results enable the calculation of the responsiveness or elasticity of the output quantities of HHW collected and recycled for differences in household informedness at the county level. There are three main findings: (1) provision of HHW public education has a positive effect on the amount of HHW collected and recycled, but may have a negative effect on HHW collected in some circumstances; (2) environmental quality information about contaminant violations in drinking water has a negative association with the amount of HHW collected; and (3) when information is sent directly via mail to households, an increase in the number of contaminant level (MCL) violations is positively related to the amount of HHW collected. Understanding how these effects work in California can help waste management policy-makers and practitioners in other locations to plan appropriate information policies and programs to maximize household participation in HHW collection and recycling based on household informedness and demographic characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Pages (from-to)88-107
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental information
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Household informedness
  • Informedness elasticity
  • Policy analytics
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • Waste management

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