Thursday, April 21, 2011

Risks and opportunities of a waste economy

Municipal waste economies. Are they practical and sustainable?

Here a contribution to the debate as presented at a Waste in Business Seminar a few days ago.

Abstract: Economic Risks and Opportunities of the New Waste Legislation

The new waste legislation in the country is an important driver for change in waste management systems. The question what the economic implications of this new legislation will be has been scarcely addressed though. The City of Cape Town has started with a process of evaluating alternative service delivery mechanisms in waste management. As part of this process, a high-level evaluation of likely economic costs and benefits was done. In this presentation the main results of this economic analysis is presented. It is concluded that waste minimization and diversion from landfill will incur additional economic costs, but that certain mechanisms are more costly than others. A case is made to focus attention on specific larger-scale, lower-cost interventions in partnership with external investors and to spread out the impacts over time.

Full presentation downloadable here.

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