The financial costs of recycling schemes fail to account for external costs and benefits such as environmental pollution, road congestion and accidents. This paper compares the environmental and social impacts of a kerbside collection scheme for recyclable household waste, with a bring scheme, using lifecycle assessment. Economic valuation is used to assign relative weights to these impacts. A second comparison examines the relative external costs of recycling and landfill disposal of waste. The results show that the kerbside collection scheme has a lower external cost than the bring scheme, but this is of less importance than the benefits to be gained within the manufacturing system by using secondary materials. It is concluded that the combination of lifecycle assessment and economic valuation is an effective means of evaluation to direct the sustainable development of waste management.