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Title: The economics and policy of municipal solid waste management
Author: Karousakis, K.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis contributes to the environmental economics and policy of sustainable municipal solid waste management. Significant market and government failures are present that lead to inefficiently high levels of waste generation and distort the optimal allocation of waste to the various disposal options available. The aims of the thesis are to identify and analyse the socio-economic, policy, spatial, as well as attitudinal determinants of municipal solid waste generation, disposal and recycling, at the international macro-economic level and at the household level. The former is conducted using cross-sectional time-series data from the 30 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) over the period 1980 to 2000, whereas the latter is undertaken using original survey data collected from 188 households in London, UK. Three distinct methods have been adopted to undertake this investigation namely panel data econometrics, spatial econometrics techniques, and the stated preference choice experiment method. Conforming with previous studies, the results from the panel data econometrics indicate that waste generation is income inelastic. However, higher income levels are associated with smaller proportions of municipal solid waste disposed of at landfills and greater proportions of paper/cardboard and glass recycling. The role of urbanisation, population density and waste management policies are also examined. Moreover, spatial interaction is present in waste management and policy-making suggesting that governments may be acting strategically in their decision-making processes. Finally, the results from the choice experiment indicate that households are willing to pay for the number of 'dry' materials collected, and the collection of compost, while textile collection and the frequency of kerbside collection is less important. These insights into municipal solid waste management can assist policy-makers in designing and implementing efficient and cost-effective policies in developed countries, helping to promote sustainable municipal solid waste management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available