Burn or Bury? A Social Cost Comparison of Final Waste Disposal Methods
AbstractThis paper uses private and environmental cost data for the Netherlands to evaluate the social cost of two final waste disposal methods, landfilling versus incineration using waste-to-energy (WTE) plants. The data only provide some support for the widespread policy preference for incineration over landfilling if the analysis is restricted to environmental costs alone. Private costs, however, are so much higher for incineration, that landfilling is the social cost minimizing option at the margin even in a densely populated country such as the Netherlands. Implications for waste policy are discussed as well. Proper treatment of and energy recovery from landfills seem to be the most important targets for waste policy. WTE plants are a very expensive way to save on climate change emissions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2003.46.
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Waste policy; Project evaluation; Incineration; Landfilling; Climate change;
Other versions of this item:
- Dijkgraaf, Elbert & Vollebergh, Herman R.J., 2004. "Burn or bury? A social cost comparison of final waste disposal methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 233-247, October.
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- L99 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Other
- Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
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