Environmental Economics

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And the European Free Trade Area. European efforts to decouple economic growth from waste generation have been relatively unsuccessful. As a whole, Europe generates more 7 than 306 million tons of municipal waste every year, an average of 415 kg per capita in 2000. U. Recycling efforts have had some success. From 1985-1990, recycling accounted for 11% of total municipal waste. That figure increased to 21% in 1995 and by 2000, recycling made up 29% of the municipal waste stream. 7. The data in this section are taken primarily from Environmental Assessment Reports of the European Environmental Agency.

S. EPA (2001). However, landfills are also considered to be carbon “sinks” because they keep the carbon in material such as wood products from escaping into the atmosphere. 17. This estimate includes private and external collection and disposal costs (with a depletion allowance). The external costs are based on the work of Stone and Ashford (1991) and the Tellus Institute (1991). 48 The second major piece of information is the social marginal benefit of disposal, that is, the amount that consumers are willing to pay for one more unit of disposal.

Consequently, shouldn't the arbitrary and uniform definition of recycling quotas by international legislation be adapted according to the circumstances (regional, local, social and cultural differences)? Some countries try to link charges to related externalities: in Austria, for example, the landfill tax depends on the risk potential of the waste and the facilities of the landfill site. In a nutshell: x x x x a very complex situation, full of contradictions, full of shadowy areas, in which a uniform approach may well be prejudicial to environmental and economic efficiency.

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