Bangkok Recycling Program: An Empirical Study of an Incentive-Based Recycling Program

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Environmental Education
Environmental Law
Environmental Monitoring
Environmental Policy
Environmental Sciences
Environmental Studies
Natural Resources and Conservation
Natural Resources Management and Policy
Place and Environment
Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation
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Sukholthaman, Pitchayanin

Environmental impacts have been considered by many as the world’s most serious issues. The world is running out of many of its natural resources. One of the best ways to extend the lives of natural resources is recycling. Recycling is a highly effective strategy. Not only does it reduce the amount of virgin materials in the production process, but it also reduces waste generation, health risks, and pollution. Increased waste generation is a serious concern in developing countries. Environmental and economic opportunities for recyclables in waste management that have not been captured are substantial. Bangkok, the fastest growing city in Thailand, has witnessed accumulating problems in solid waste management and disposal. The city’s municipal solid waste (MSW) generation shows an increasing trend parallel to the development of economic conditions, urbanization, and rapid growth of population. Adopting an innovative incentive-based recycling program as part of the municipal waste management system is a potential solution to solve a high level of waste generation and to draw communities to participate in the program. The Bangkok Recycling Program (BRP) is a unique incentive-based recycling program that includes a collaboration program among communities, local authorities, and businesses; an environmental reward program; and a performance tracking system. This research aims to appraise the response of Bangkok residents towards the incentive-based recycling program, to ensure that the Bangkok Recycling Program is an excellent alternative to alleviate MSW related concerns, and to create value from collected waste for all stakeholders in a sustainable way. Results from the survey show that about 90 percent of the total respondents want to participate in the incentive-based recycling program. Communities are aware of the impact of waste on the environment and think that waste reduction at source is a way to reduce household waste generation. Introducing the incentive-based Bangkok Recycling Program into the waste management system in Bangkok is indeed an exceptionally new approach; however, the Program is an alternative solution that might well suit to the characteristics of the City of Bangkok and might work well with the residents.

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