Environmental Economics

Measuring External Effects of Solid Waste

This study analyzes the environmental impact of using sanitary landfills for disposing of solid waste. The relevant economic theory concerned with the measurement and valuation of external effects is developed and previous empirical impacts of various activities are reviewed. Both the theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that the costs and benefits of external effects are extremely difficult to measure directly but under certain circumstances property value studies can be used to obtain indirect estimates.

A survey of the technology of sanitary landfills suggests that a properly designed fill will cause very little air and water pollution, but may impose visual and noise pollution on nearby residents. These hypotheses are tested with data on property surrounding four sanitary landfills in Los Angeles Country. A model of the determinants of residential property values is formulated and estimated. The model includes variables which describe the characteristics of the property and variables which describe the relationship of the property to the fill. Statistical estimates of the parameters of the model indicate that proximity to and view of a sanitary landfill do not significantly reduce the market or assessed value of surrounding property.

  • Keywords

    1. Benefits Analysis
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Revealed Preference
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation - Revealed Preference - Property Value
    Environmental Media:
    c. Land
    c. Land - Solid Waste/RCRA
    Schmalensee, Richard
    Ramachandra, Ramathan
    Ramm, Wolfhard
    Smallwood, Dennis
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Abel, Fred
    Geographic Area:
    California, Los Angeles
    Study Purpose:
    Empirical Application
    Inventory Record #: EE-0394
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    Institute for Policy AnalysisAddress: 8961 Nottingham Place
    City: LaJolla State: CA ZIP: 92037
    Phone: Fax:
    Funding Organization:
    Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington Enviornmental Research Center, Resource Analysis StaffAddress:
    City: State: ZIP:
    Phone: Fax:
  • Report Details
    Number of Pages:
    EPA #:
    NTIS #:
    Grant/Contract #:
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    Date Linked: 08/25/2017
    Other Ways to Obtain the Report:
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    By phone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
    By mail: NTIS, Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161;
    By World Wide Web: [http://www.ntis.gov].
    You will need the following NTIS report #: PB243407