The Provision of Public Services in Europe

The Provision of Public Services in Europe

Between State, Local Government and Market

Edited by Hellmut Wollmann and Gérard Marcou

The book is the first of its kind to provide a comparative analysis of the provision of social and public services in France, Italy, Germany, the UK and Norway.

Chapter 7: Comparative Study of a Local Service: Waste Management in France, Germany, Italy and the UK

Magali Dreyfus, Annette Elisabeth Töller, Carlo Iannello and John McEldowney

Subjects: economics and finance, services, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy


Magali Dreyfus, Annette Elisabeth Töller, Carlo Iannello and John McEldowney INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses waste management, an important public service, which provides a significant role for local government in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. There is a long history of local government responsibility for waste, going back to nineteenth-century industrialization and public health concerns. National governments passed legislation in the 1970s addressing waste management. The EU has been influential in linking waste management to protecting the environment. Waste management is also linked to tackling climate change through reductions in levels of carbon emissions from landfill sites. Any instability in oil prices can be avoided by meeting energy needs through heat recovery from waste disposal. The Landfill Directive in 1999 was a milestone in setting a new waste hierarchy and significantly reducing landfill use, with clear targets for reductions up to 2016. The waste hierarchy includes recycling and reuse targets and the use of waste for energy production. Municipal waste has grown throughout the EU. In 2005, municipal waste totalled 248 million metric tons (tonnes), with 78 per cent being collected in the four largest member states France, Germany, Italy and the UK (see Figure 7.1). This chapter considers the institutional framework of waste management in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The main questions addressed are: how have the four countries adopted municipal waste management strategies and are there any variations in practice? The overriding theme is EU convergence considered in terms of how each of the four...

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