Economics of the Generation and Management of Municipal Solid Waste
This paper examines the generation and management of municipal solid waste (MSW) through the lens of economics. We estimate that the global burden of MSW amounted to 1.3 billion metric tons in 1990, or 0.67 kilograms of waste per person per day. Industrial countries account for a disproportionate share of the world's MSW relative to their share of world population, while developing countries account for a disproportionate share of the world's MSW relative to their share of world income. Cross-country and time-series analyses reveal that MSW generation is positively associated, but inelastic, with respect to per capita income, and positively associated and unit elastic with respect to population size.
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