Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Roland K. Roberts


One of the most intense issues in solid waste management is where to site new landfill disposal facilities. With increasing public concern over the risks from landfills, policymakers are being forced to consider the external costs of landfill disposal. The external costs of siting a landfill in a rural Tennessee community were estimated using the contingent valuation method. A personal interview survey was administered to 150 randomly selected households to determine the community's willingness to pay to avoid having a landfill sited in the area. A regression analysis was also performed to determine the relationship between willingness to pay and the socioeconomic characteristics of the population.

The results showed that the average household willingness to pay to avoid a landfill was $227.00 annually. This can be viewed as the average household cost to residents of the Carter community from having the proposed landfill sited in their area. The most significant explanatory variables of willingness to pay were income, education and perception of risk. The results of this study have implications for a number of public policy issues including local solid waste management strategies, compensation for parties affected by waste siting policies and the benefits of recycling.

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