Waste management and Italian provinces: Why pay more for less?

Matteo Mazzarano*, Marco Quatrosi*, Andrea Pronti*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


This work investigates the role of waste treatment methods and separation policies in explaining the Total Waste Management Costs (TWMC) at NUTS 3 level, Italy, between 2015 and 2018. In this context, northern provinces generally have high efficiency and circularity, while central and southern provinces lag behind. It is unclear how much of the difference is motivated by socioeconomic factors and how much by political entrenchment in low circularity policies. Panel data models have been estimated using provincial and regional fixed effects targeting TWMC as the dependent variable. Two main independent variables are considered as drivers. One is a composite policy indicator that gives higher weight to circular methods and waste-to-energy treatments. Lower weights have been given to increase landfill, generic incineration, and biological and mixed treatments. The second independent variable is the ratio between separated waste and total municipal waste flow. The estimations' results indicate that the composite indicator of circular policies reduces TWMC while separation policies increase them. Furthermore, it is estimated that provinces need to improve their composite performance significantly to offset the cost increases derived by separation policies. Thus, perseverance in pursuing an incomplete circular policy might be a driver of TWMC at the local level.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)340-349
Numero di pagine10
RivistaWaste Management
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Italian provinces
  • MSW management
  • Total waste management costs
  • Waste hierarchy
  • Waste policy indicators


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