Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Kobrak

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Reding

Third Advisor

Dr. Sheldon Langsom


This study consists of evaluating the perceived quality of the various methods of collecting residential trash and paying for that collection in four Michigan cities. The cities selected are East Lansing, Lincoln Park, Saginaw, and Wyoming. Theyshare similar demographic characteristics, including median income and population size, as well as number and location of trash pick-ups. The study compares paying for trash collection services with tax dollars, user fees, and direct private charges to the vendor. It also evaluates the residents’ perceptions of quality when municipal workers are compared with private company workers providing trash collection services.

Questionnaires were sent to randomly selected residents in each of the four cities. The answers to the questionnaires were subjected to various statistical tests. As a result, it was determined that there was no difference in the perceived quality of trash removal services among the four cities, regardless of payment methods or what workers performed the service. In addition, trends in the changes in quality of trash collection services over three years, as well as suggestions for improving trash collection services, were also obtained from the respondents and are summarized in this study.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access