An Economic Approach to Municipal Waste Management Policy in Ireland

March 5, 2010 | ESRI Survey and Statistical Report Series

Authors: Paul Gorecki , Seán Lyons

The report sets out an economic approach to municipal waste management policy in Ireland and then applies that framework to two recent policy developments. First, the proposed Section 60 policy direction to cap incineration and other matters, and second, the international review of waste management policy. These complementary policy developments sponsored by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government are designed to provide a roadmap for a new municipal waste management policy. The report questions whether these developments provide a coherent and feasible basis on which to develop waste policy. Indeed, apart from some unexceptional lessons which are consistent with current waste management policy, implementation of these proposals and recommendations is likely to lower societal welfare and increase the chances that Ireland will miss important Landfill Directive targets with consequent EU fines. The report puts forward a number of suggestions consistent with raising societal welfare while at the same time meeting the Landfill Directive targets.

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