Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version

Fall 12-14-2009


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Mark E. Burbach. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2009

Copyright 2009 Amir Vafa


Private household recycling is a significant aspect of consumerism in economically developed countries and the inevitable question of household waste management has gained more importance among municipalities in recent years. The present study examined the effect of regulation on household solid waste management. Within a comparative, qualitative framework, the study explored and evaluated the pro-regulatory effects in Germany and the anti-regulatory policies in the United States by means of comparing two similar communities, Lincoln, Nebraska and Augsburg, Germany. By examining the present legislations, official documents, legal and operational procedures, and other relevant artifacts, laws, regulations and the degree of their success are analyzed. The second major element of the study is consumerism, as a phenomenon inherent to industrialized societies. After examining the relationship between regulations and consumption, the results show that a pro-regulatory policy, in the case of Germany, is more sustainable. The results of this study may be valuable for future research, municipal policy makers, recycling program managers, and other interested stakeholders.