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Surviving from garbage: the role of informal waste-pickers in a dynamic model of solid-waste management in developing countries


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In developing countries, informal waste-pickers (known as scavengers) play an important role in solid waste management systems, acting in a parallel way to formal waste collection and disposal agents. Scavengers collect, from the streets, dumpsites, or landfills, re-usable and recyclable material that can be reincorporated into the economy s production process. Despite the benefits that they generate to society, waste-pickers are ignored when waste management policies are formulated. The purpose of this paper is to integrate the role of scavengers in a dynamic model of production, consumption, and recovery, and to show that, in an economy producing solid waste, efficiency can be reached using a set of specific and complementary policies: a tax on virgin materials use, a tax on consumption and disposal, and a subsidy to the recovery of material. A numerical simulation is performed to evaluate the impact of these policies on landfill lifetime and natural resource stocks. A discussion on the implementation of these instruments is also included.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2006)
Issue (Month): 03 (June)
Pages: 371-391

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:11:y:2006:i:03:p:371-391_00

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Cited by:
  1. Chen, Yenming & Wu, Tien-Hua, 2010. "The diffusion dynamics of the informal sector and sustainable WEEE supply chain," MPRA Paper 25650, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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