During the past two decades there has been an increasing concern regarding the disposal of consumer products since many of these products contain large amounts of waste and substantial quantities of toxic heavy metals. This has given birth to an industrial ecology framework whose main goal for sustainability is to create a system in which discarded and returned products serve as a raw material input for the reprocessing, refurbishing and remanufacturing of new products. In this article, we explore the implications for the future of current trends, practices and policies in the generation and management of municipal solid waste (MSW) with a focus on recycling activities. To do so, we draw on the experience that the county governments in the state of Florida have had with recycling. Florida is used as a basis for our investigation because of the recent efforts adopted by its legislature to monitor recycling and to provide economic and environmental information. There are two major reasons why research on MSW is a fruitful area for exploration. First, huge quantities of municipal solid waste are being generated around the world. Second, evidence suggests that solid waste has value. We hypothesize that the environmental costs of entities that aggressively adopt and maintain a high level of recycling should be low relative to those entities that do not maintain an equally high level of recycling activity. We use data from the counties in the state of Florida to test our hypothesis. As a final step in our analysis, we present a cost-benefit model that identifies how to quantify all the costs and revenues that an organization can accrue from recycling efforts with a goal to make recycling a profitable venture. We perceive that current conditions offer a unique opportunity to assess the role of recycling in environmental cost management policy and development.
|Keywords:||Municipal Solid Waste Management, Sustainable Development, Recycling|
Department of Accountancy, School of Business Administration, University of Miami, Florida, USA
Professor, Management, School of Business, University of Miami, Coral Gables, USA
Department of Accountancy, School of Business Administration, University of Miami, USA
Department of Political Science, School of Business Administration, University of Miami, USA
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