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Abstract/ Summary

Solid waste management has been influenced by the growing trend to apply market-based incentives to environmental problems. The impetus to reform solid waste management procedures in part stems from the increasing costs associated with solid waste disposal, thus encouraging municipalities to seek innovative ways to reduce solid waste generation. One method adopted by numerous municipalities in Maine is known as variable cost pricing. Alternatively, this system is referred to as unit pricing, volume-based fees, and pay-by-the-bag (PB). Under this system, waste collection fees are based on the volume of solid waste disposal. A household's solid waste disposal costs change with the number of bags of waste disposed since each bag is assessed a fee. As a result, the less trash set out for disposal, the lower the cost to the resident.


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