Waste dynamics in economic and policy transitions: decoupling, convergence and spatial effects
Massimiliano Mazzanti (),
Anna Montini () and
Francesco Nicolli ()
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2012, vol. 55, issue 5, 563-581
Taking an economic-geographical perspective, through a panel analysis of Italian municipal solid waste (MSW) data, we show that although decoupling for waste generation from income is absent, there are some signs of absolute decoupling for landfilled waste. Within this general picture, geographical and socio-economic differentiation across Italian provinces seems to matter. Spatial effects at the level of provinces -- the institutions that primarily manage waste regulations -- seem to be negligible, especially for landfilled waste. This is consistent with the fact that the definition and implementation of landfill policy effectively happened at sub-provincial (even municipal) levels; as a result, the recent waste policy decentralisation process has been characterised by fragmented actions. In light of this fragmentation, we note that although North-South waste performances show some signs of convergence, greater co-ordination aimed at complete convergence in waste performance, in a decentralised policy scenario, will be needed for the effective achievement of EU national based targets by a federal country.
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