Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Public Policy
In communities of all sizes across the United States, multifamily residents have lower levels of access to recycling services than single-family residents (SPC, 2016). To address this challenge and widely promote the practice of recycling, many states and municipalities have enacted recycling mandates. This thesis aims to answer two main research questions: “How effective are existing municipal recycling mandates for providing access to recycling services to residents of multifamily properties?” and “How do different payment structures used to fund multifamily recycling services distribute costs amongst residents of single-family and multifamily properties? Is this cost distribution perceived as fair?” Two primary methods of data collection were used to answer these questions: first, the content of municipal recycling mandates for multifamily properties was analyzed using three standards (convenience, capacity, and compliance agency); second, a case study was conducted to describe and compare the payment structures used to fund multifamily recycling in two North Carolinian municipalities. The majority of municipal recycling mandates were proved to be ineffective by at least one of the three standards for measuring access to recycling services, and the case study confirmed that a payment structure was considered less fair if multifamily residents were required to pay the same amount as single-family residents and had less or no access to municipal recycling services.