PI: Richard C. Feiock
Jerry Collins Eminent Scholar and Augustus B. Turnbull Professor
Askew School of Public Administration and Policy


This study investigates and measures the employment effects of solid waste management and recycling following the implementation of 1988 Florida Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA); the SWMA not only laid a solid foundation for sustainable and environmentally responsible solid waste management it has also stimulated job creation in specific industrial sectors of the economy.  Large numbers of jobs have been produced in solid waste management in the two decades since the implementation of the SWMA, but existing data does not isolate the specific sectors and subsectors influenced by the SWMA or track “green” jobs over time.

This study produces a unique data set to evaluate the trajectories of green job growth in solid waste management and recycling related industries in Florida through 2010 using longitudinal employment information and waste collection data. This study first constructs a unique measure of employment by firms in industries involved in solid waste management and recycling.

Second, it examines the history of aggregate employment to identify trends for solid waste management and recycling at the state and county levels. Third, it applies multivariate panel regression techniques to estimate the impact of county level recycling efforts on green jobs while controlling for local conditions in order to identify the influence of county recycling efforts on employment. Finally projections based on the regression estimates are calculated to provide practical policy information on the economic consequences of achieving a 75 percent recycling rate by 2020. The results of these analyses indicate that recycling programs have not reduced employment, but instead they have produced a modest positive employment effect in most counties. The large scale expansion of collections of recyclables that would be produced by meeting the 75% recycling goal for 2020 is projected to have a strong simulative effect that would increase jobs in solid waste and recycling related industries by 13.5%.

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