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Environ Monit Assess. 2015 Mar;187(3):60. doi: 10.1007/s10661-015-4305-0. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

A quantitative analysis of municipal solid waste disposal charges in China.

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Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Ecological Restoration, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200241, China.


Rapid industrialization and economic development have caused a tremendous increase in municipal solid waste (MSW) generation in China. China began implementing a policy of MSW disposal fees for household waste management at the end of last century. Three charging methods were implemented throughout the country: a fixed disposal fee, a potable water-based disposal fee, and a plastic bag-based disposal fee. To date, there has been little qualitative or quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of this relatively new policy. This paper provides a general overview of MSW fee policy in China, attempts to verify whether the policy is successful in reducing general waste collected, and proposes an improved charging system to address current problems. The paper presents an empirical statistical analysis of policy effectiveness derived from an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) test on panel data of China. EKC tests on different kinds of MSW charge systems were then examined for individual provinces or cities. A comparison of existing charging systems was conducted using environmental and economic criteria. The results indicate the following: (1) the MSW policies implemented over the study period were effective in the reduction of waste generation, (2) the household waste discharge fee policy did not act as a strong driver in terms of waste prevention and reduction, and (3) the plastic bag-based disposal fee appeared to be performing well according to qualitative and quantitative analysis. Based on current situation of waste discharging management in China, a three-stage transitional charging scheme is proposed and both advantages and drawbacks discussed. Evidence suggests that a transition from a fixed disposal fee to a plastic bag-based disposal fee involving various stakeholders should be the next objective of waste reduction efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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