An examination of the analysis process underlying the decision to invest in reclamation and disposal facilities
This thesis examines the way in which decisions about the treatment and disposal of solid waste are analysed in the English counties. The emphasis is on decisions with strategic dimensions rather than on tactical issues relating to plant operations. On the basis of an examination of legislation, government advice to local authorities, and literature from both the political and management sciences, alternative hypothesis sets about the analytical process which might be expected to exist are developed. These hypotheses are then tested, using evidence, drawn from surveys, interviews and field studies. A justification for the use of multiple hypotheses and multiple data sources which centres around the trade off between the precision of a result and its importance is offered in the thesis. The evidence supports the conclusion that the analysis process in existence can best be viewed as an attempt at rational comprehensive planning but one which is severely constrained in various ways. It is argued that the process is a barrier to both effective and efficient operations. The final chapters of the thesis adopt a more reformist approach. It is argued that collection and disposal systems should be recombined and that co-operation between county authorities should be encouraged. An appropriate analytical process is also defined.