Should we blame the rich for clogging our landfills?

Itai Trilnick*, Alon Tal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conventional wisdom often holds that relatively high consumption levels among the affluent contributes to the generation of high volumes of municipal solid waste (MSW). Comparing data from different cities in Israel suggests otherwise. Regression analysis reveals that aggregate per capita waste outputs of cities are only vaguely correlated with their socio-economic indicators. In fact, the apparent 'hedonic' waste of the richest cities, compared with the average ones, accounts for only about 2% of the total waste production. Israel's main economic area, the Tel Aviv district, produces a quarter more MSW per capita than other districts, suggesting a need for special attention by policy makers. A surprisingly strong predicator of MSW per capita is water consumption by municipalities, dedicated for public gardening. The trimmings of the municipal landscape constituting an unobserved fraction of total MSW data, are estimated to be responsible for 15% of Israel's MSW, making it an additional target area for consideration and intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Israel
  • Municipal solid waste
  • gardening waste
  • landfill
  • wealth


Dive into the research topics of 'Should we blame the rich for clogging our landfills?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this