Spillover effects of household waste separation policy on electricity consumption : Evidence from Hangzhou, China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-231
Journal / PublicationResources, Conservation and Recycling
Online published6 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


China's sudden growth in solid waste production and energy consumption is challenging the government more severely than ever. The aims of this study are three-fold, to: (1) test how much intervention policies requiring householders to dispose different types of waste into separate receptacles, currently implemented in pilot cities such as Hangzhou, indirectly affect household electricity consumption; (2) investigate the importance of the form of policies (information campaigns vs. monetary incentives) and the difficulty of adopting waste disposal behaviour in considering this “spillover” effect; and (3) examine the dynamic changes of positive and negative spillover effects. Based on three-year objective panel data of two samples of Hangzhou households, this study confirms the existence of spillover, showing that, in contrast with monetary inducements, the information campaign disseminating the environmental advantages of waste separation promoted a positive spillover, although this may be influenced by difficulties in waste separation. However, positive spillover decreased more significantly over years than negative spillover, leading to the conclusion that policymakers should focus on how to maintain the positive spillover of such pro-environmental policies in the long-term.

Research Area(s)

  • Information campaign, Monetary incentives, Pro-environmental behaviours, Spillover