Analyzing the success of the volume-based waste fee system in South Korea

Seejeen Park, T. J. Lah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


For more than a decade, South Korea has been ranked first among the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) members in their municipal solid waste (MSW) recycling rate. One of the major contributing factors for its outstanding MSW recycling performance is the volume-based waste fee (VWF) system implemented in 1995. Despite the perceived success of VWF, there has been few research conducted that has sought to demonstrate the success of the policy in an empirical manner. Research conducted currently on VWF in South Korea tends to have limitations in empirical approaches and identifying the intervention effect of VWF on recycling performance. This study attempts to empirically test whether the adoption of VWF positively affected recycling performance in Korea over time. The findings suggest that although there was a dramatic increase of the recycling rate with the introduction of VWF in 1995, Korea's MSW recycling performance settled back again and showed the constant pace after the intervention. No significant differences in recycling rate were found between before and after 1995 period. In conclusion, implications and suggestions for both research and practice are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sep 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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