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Economics of waste

OECD has for many years been working on many waste-related issues, in later years primarily through its Working Group on Waste Prevention and Recycling (WGWPR). The work has primarily addressed technical, scientific and health aspects of waste issues and inter alia focused on waste management, transboundary movements of waste, waste minimisation, extended producer responsibility and  most recently on promoting environmentally sound management of waste. It has now been felt useful to shift the emphasis somewhat, and to focus more on the “economics of waste”. There are several reasons for this: Better understanding of the economic issues involved can facilitate policy measures to limit waste generation, and to promote environmentally benign ways of handling the waste. Increased ambition levels in waste-related policy targets set over the last decades have increased costs to public authorities, industry, waste handlers and/or private households. More focus on “the economics of waste” can help assessing the balance between benefits and costs of existing targets, and making sure that a given target is approached at lowest possible costs to society as a whole.



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