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Care About Home Value? Litter Matters

We read lots of things about recycling. But a week or two ago we came across a report that was commissioned for a US state that was looking into passing a container deposit law in their state (a bottle bill). They looked at many environmental and economic impacts of the program but one thing stood out to us which was the impact of litter on communities real estate value.

It makes sense. No one wants to live in a community that has litter in the streets. It looks - gross. But what blew our minds is how much litter impacted home values. If a street was littered, homes on that street could sell 10-20% less than similar homes on un-littered streets. If your home is worth $300,000 that would mean $30,000 - $60,000 less when you go to sell your home than what it should be worth.

The report lays out that the solution to litter is to have healthy recycling programs including, very importantly a container deposit law so that people will take care to recycle their containers to get their deposit back. Containers that have deposits see 80-90% return rates if the deposit is 10¢ and 40-60% return rates if the deposit is 5¢. Incentives work. They have been proven to be effective over the past four decades in every state and country they have been legislated in.

If you care about the value of your home, you should care about recycling. It's the quickest way to make $30,000 in real estate.

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