Management of Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE also called e-waste) has become an issue of critical importance recently also in the frame of industrial ecology besides waste management per se, mostly due to their content in hazardous materials and the extensive implications of any intervention in a broad industrial spectrum. The effectiveness of any landfill diversion scheme depends on its acceptance by the local community and the industry, as well as adequate funding. This paper presents a contingent valuation approach in order to examine public environmental awareness and to assess the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the environmentally sound management of WEEE in Greece, based on a suitable, customized and easy-to-comprehend questionnaire. The survey revealed a still relative public ignorance on the subject and a reluctantly limited WTP. The latter is mostly triggered by the fact that respondents believed that associated expenses should be covered either by authorities or manufacturers (protest votes). However, based on the responses of those declaring a positive WTP, the average fee respondents are willing to pay exceeds the current recycling fee. Thus, existing recycling fees could be potentially increased in order to cover additional expenses for the development of infrastructure in areas not currently included in the national WEEE recycling program, as well as to provide the public with a dense network of disposal sites/bins in an effort to boost participation and WEEE recycling rates.
Keywords: WEEE, Willingness to pay, Waste management, Contingent valuation
Jel Code: D61, D78, Q52
Charisios Achillas, Christos Vlachokostas, Avraam Karagiannidis, Eftichios Sophocles Sartzetakis, Nicolas Moussiopoulos, in "ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT" 3/2012, pp. 19-35, DOI:10.3280/EFE2012-003003