IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Analysing future solid waste generation - Soft linking a model of waste management with a CGE-model for Sweden

Listed author(s):
  • Östblom, Göran

    (National Institute of Economic Research)

  • Ljunggren Söderman, Maria


    (Swedish Environmental Research Institute)

  • Sjöström, Magnus

    (National Institute of Economic Research)

Registered author(s):

    Parallel to the efforts of the EU to achieve a significant and overall reduction of waste quantities within the EU, the Swedish parliament enacted an environmental quality objective stating that ‘the total quantity of waste must not increase …’ i.e. an eventual absolute decoupling of waste generation from GDP. The decoupling issue is ad-dressed, in the present paper, by assessing future waste quantities, for a number of economic scenarios of the Swedish economy to 2030 with alternative assumptions about key factors affecting waste generation and waste management costs. We use an integrated top-down/bottom-up approach by linking a CGE-model of the Swedish economy with a systems engineering model of the Swedish waste management system. In this way, we can in more detail consider the interaction between waste generation and waste management costs (waste disposal prices) when assessing future waste quantities. A relative decoupling of waste generation takes place in all scenarios, i.e. total waste quantities increase at a lower rate than GDP. Absolute decoupling, which re-quire total waste quantities to stabilize or to reduce, does not take place in any of the scenarios. This means that the present Swedish Environmental quality objective of stabilizing waste quantities is not met in any of the scenarios with total waste genera-tion levels of 110 per cent up to nearly 200 per cent of that in 2006. The overall impression from our analysis is that costs are high for reducing waste generation irrespective of the type of waste reduced. In other words, the waste treat-ment costs are low compared to the costs for reducing waste. This situation also means that the use of policy instruments, which induce substitution by increasing the price of waste disposal services, will have very small reducing effects on the generation of all types of waste unless the price increase brings about an introduction of waste preventing techniques and affect households in the direction of a less waste intensive behaviour. For example, the policy instruments used must affect the pattern of household consumption pattern more directly, as a differentiation of the value added tax, rather than to be directed towards the waste management sector. Economic policy instruments introduced in the waste management sector are more likely to affect the choice of waste management solutions than prevent waste generation. Linking a macroeconomic and a systems engineering model for waste manage-ment, gives us a tool useful also for capturing the macroeconomic effects, such as GDP growth and structural changes, when designing policy instruments intended to prevent waste generation or take waste management in a more sustainable direction.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Institute of Economic Research in its series Working Papers with number 118.

    in new window

    Length: 54 pages
    Date of creation: May 2010
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:nierwp:0118
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    National Institute of Economic Research, P.O. Box 3116, SE-103 62 Stockholm, Sweden

    Phone: 46-(0)8-453 59 00
    Fax: 46-(0)8-453 59 80
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Gren, Ing-Marie, 2003. "Monetary Green Accounting and Ecosystem Services," Working Papers 86, National Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Eriksson, Kimmo & Karlander, Johan & Öller, Lars-Erik, 1996. "Hierarchical Assignments: Stability and Fairness," Working Papers 50, National Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Barot, Bharat & Yang, Zan, 2002. "House Prices and Housing Investment in Sweden and the United Kingdom: Econometric Analysis for the Period 1970-1998," Working Papers 80, National Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Öller, Lars-Erik & Barot, Bharat, 1999. "Comparing the Accuracy of European GDP Forecasts," Working Papers 64, National Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2007. "Is waste generation de-linking from economic growth? Empirical evidence for Europe," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 287-291.
    6. Nick Johnstone & Julien Labonne, 2004. "Generation of Household Solid Waste in OECD Countries: An Empirical Analysis Using Macroeconomic Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(4).
    7. Holmgren, Kristina & Gebremedhin, Alemayehu, 2004. "Modelling a district heating system: Introduction of waste incineration, policy instruments and co-operation with an industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(16), pages 1807-1817, November.
    8. Ahlroth, Sofia & Bjorklund, Anders & Forslund, Anders, 1997. "The Output of the Swedish Education Sector," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(1), pages 89-104, March.
    9. Huhtala, Anni & Samakovlis, Eva, 2003. "Green Accounting, Air Pollution and Health," Working Papers 82, National Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Arai, Mahmood & Heyman, Fredrik, 2000. "Permanent and Temporary Labour: Job and Worker Flows in Sweden, 1989-1998," Working Papers 71, National Institute of Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:nierwp:0118. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sarah Hegardt Grant)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.