Edited by Thomas C. Kinnaman and Kenji Takeuchi
Chapter 16: Size and density economies in refuse collection
In the last decades EU directives have promoted an intense liberalization and deregulation program in an attempt to improve the efficiency of local public services across Europe. Policymakers tried to increase competition and cost-efficiency through a mixture of interventions such as divestitures, outsourcing and competitive tendering. The refuse collection industry does not represent an exception to that. Together with prescriptions which are valid for all local public utilities, some sector-specific interventions have set ambitious environmental goals, as a consequence of a greater concern for sustainability and environmental protection. It is widely recognized that economic and demographic growth, the urbanization process, as well as the change of consumption habits of citizens have all contributed to the sharp increase of solid waste production. To contrast this trend, Directives 2006/12 and 2008/98 oblige EU members to reduce their waste production and to adopt measures to improve recycling programs. In Italy, the reforms introduced by Ronchi's decree (law 22/1997) and by the Environmental Code (law 152/2006) are aimed at favoring the integrated management of a too much fragmented production process, as well as at promoting competitive tendering procedures for the management of waste collection.
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