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Analysing the production and treatment of solid waste using a national accounting framework

, : Analysing the production and treatment of solid waste using a national accounting framework. Waste Management & Research 29(7): 751-762

Our knowledge of the relationship between the economy and the environment has increased significantly over recent decades. One of the areas in which this is most apparent is the area of environmental accounting, where environmental data is presented according to national accounting principles. These accounts provide consistent, complete and detailed information for understanding environmental-economic interdependencies. One of the modules of these accounts is the waste accounts which record the origin and destination of waste materials. The first part of this paper discusses the Dutch waste accounts and their relation with economic indicators. In the second part a number of applications, which are based on the input-output model, are applied to these accounts. This section includes a novel structural decomposition analysis which quantifies the underlying driving forces of changes in total waste and landfilled waste between 1995 and 24. The results show that the total amount of waste is mainly driven by economic growth (positive effect) and the direct export of waste (negative effect). The models also show that the construction sector has played a very important part in the reduction of waste. Furthermore, the decrease in the amount of landfilled waste, which is caused by Dutch regulations, has led to a large shift towards recycling and to a lesser degree incineration. Finally, the calculations for the ‘environmental trade balance’ for waste show that the waste-contents of exports exceed that of imports. This paper shows that the waste accounts have many analytical and policy-relevant applications.


PMID: 20819847

DOI: 10.1177/0734242X10381159

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