- The exclusion of HHW collection costs from the total program costs is significant. Even though it appears that costs decreased for HHWs, gauging total program cost effectiveness is not possible without knowing collection costs for HHWs. Calculating a value for collection costs is complex. Some variables such as estimating the cost of labor are relatively straightforward, while other items such as valuing the loss in building space that is used for storing waste paint and the percent of overhead expenses (e.g., insurance, administrative) that should be attributed to the collection are more challenging to estimate.
- Future evaluations should broaden the scope of cost-effectiveness by also factoring in environmental benefits. The cost-effectiveness measure here is the cost per gallon collected. A more comprehensive measure would translate the gallons into environmental benefits and then also include other management options (e.g., reuse, etc.) as well as the cost-effectiveness of reducing leftover paint by convincing consumers to “buy the right amount.” Completion of a full life cycle cost-benefit analysis could supply some of this information. The key is to develop a measure of the environmental benefit associated with different paint management options.
- Beyond expanding cost effectiveness considerations to environmental benefits, future evaluations should consider the cost-effectiveness associated with program development including the costs of collaboration. Collaboration for this program involved significant time and effort on the part of several stakeholders. However, what did this achieve relative to a less collaborative approach? Addressing this question would allow for a more complete assessment of this type of program and for developing programs through a collaborative approach.