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The urban waste sector 11 years after the Ronchi decree


  • Paolo Chiades

    () (Banca d'Italia)

  • Roberto Torrini

    () (Banca d'Italia)


The modernization of the solid waste management sector prompted by the Ronchi decree of 1997 has proceeded slowly and is far from being completed. Regional differentials in the effectiveness of local policies and in the efficiency of waste collection and disposal firms are still large. Southern regions are lagging behind while northern regions on the whole have achieved the environmental objectives and modernized the waste management system. Local differences in service methods and quality have affected operating costs, which are higher on average in the South. Significant problems of economic regulation have yet to be solved. The self-sufficiency principle for the treatment and disposal phases and their high level of integration with the collection phase hamper competition and make it desirable for there to be regulation of the terms and condition for access to disposal facilities. Moreover, should the Government decide to adopt a vertically integrated legal monopoly model, with compulsory competitive tendering, some doubts could arise concerning the ability of local authorities to perform this task, given the complexity of the underlying contracts. Assigning responsibility for the economic regulation of the sector to a national authority could prove to be helpful.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Chiades & Roberto Torrini, 2008. "The urban waste sector 11 years after the Ronchi decree," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 22, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_22_08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Does Consumption Inequality Track Income Inequality in Italy?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 133-153, January.
    2. Ampudia, Miguel & van Vlokhoven, Has & Żochowski, Dawid, 2016. "Financial fragility of euro area households," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 250-262.
    3. Silvia Magri, 2007. "Italian households’ debt: the participation to the debt market and the size of the loan," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 401-426, November.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-172, March.
    5. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 269-295, June.
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    More about this item


    Public utilities; Solid waste management; Economic regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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