A Study on the Economic Valuation of Environmental Externalities from Landfill Disposal and Incineration of Waste

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In recent years, the European Commission has continuously developed the tool of cost-benefit analysis to better inform decision-makers in the process of settling on new directives and regulations concerning the environment. However, according to the Terms of Reference of this assignment “most studies in the field of waste have been restricted to an analysis of costs and, at best, a relatively superficial description of benefits”. This study aims at reviewing and presenting in an easily comprehensible way the parts of the methodological toolkit of cost-benefit analysis where information is not readily available, i.e. environmental externalities from landfill disposal and incineration. More specifically, the study aims to provide “an overview of the environmental externalities that need to be taken into account when evaluating different waste management policies and how they can be integrated into cost-benefit analysis.” The study was launched by the European Commission in late 1999, and it has been conducted by COWI Consulting Engineers and Planners AS1.

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