Trends and determinants of rural residential solid waste collection services in China


The purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants of these services using nationally representative data.


The authors draw on panel data from three rounds of village-level surveys of 101 villages. The three surveys were conducted in 2005, 2008, and 2012 in five provinces. The authors used fixed-effected regression approach to analyze the determinants of these services.


The results show that in the aftermath of increased investment and policy attention at the national level, the proportion of villages providing RSWC services in rural China increased significantly from 1998 to 2011. However, half of all villages in rural China still did not provide RSWC services as of 2011. Based on econometrics analysis, the authors show that villages that are richer, more populous, and villages with more small hamlets are more likely to provide RSWC services.


The analyses are based on primary survey data and the first to quantify trends in waste management services in the beginning of the twentieth century. The authors believe that the results will have significant policy implications for China in its continuing quest for better waste management policy.