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Article

Waste-to-Energy in the EU: The Effects of Plant Ownership, Waste Mobility, and Decentralization on Environmental Outcomes and Welfare

1
Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Bozen, 36100 Bolzano, Italy
2
Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia, 25122 Brescia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145743
Received: 30 May 2020 / Revised: 30 June 2020 / Accepted: 1 July 2020 / Published: 17 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Challenges for Medium-Size Urban Systems)
Waste-to-energy (WtE) could prevent the production of up to 50 million tons of CO2 emissions that would otherwise be generated by burning fossil fuels. Yet, support for a large deployment of WtE plants is not universal because there is a widespread concern that energy from waste discourages recycling practices. Moreover, incineration plants generate air pollution and chemical waste residuals and are expensive to build compared to modern landfills that have appropriate procedures for the prevention of leakage of harmful gasses. In the context of the EU, this paper aims to provide a picture of the actual role of WtE as a disposal option for municipal solid waste (MSW), enabling it to be utilized as a source of clean energy, and to address two important aspects of the debate surrounding the use of WtE; namely, (i) the relationship between WtE and recycling, and (ii) the effects of decentralization, waste mobility, and plant ownership. Finally, it reviews the role of the EU as a supranational regulator, which may allow the lower government levels (where consumer preferences are better represented) to take decisions, while taking spillovers into account. View Full-Text
Keywords: WtE technology; waste mobility; welfare WtE technology; waste mobility; welfare
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MDPI and ACS Style

Levaggi, L.; Levaggi, R.; Marchiori, C.; Trecroci, C. Waste-to-Energy in the EU: The Effects of Plant Ownership, Waste Mobility, and Decentralization on Environmental Outcomes and Welfare. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145743

AMA Style

Levaggi L, Levaggi R, Marchiori C, Trecroci C. Waste-to-Energy in the EU: The Effects of Plant Ownership, Waste Mobility, and Decentralization on Environmental Outcomes and Welfare. Sustainability. 2020; 12(14):5743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145743

Chicago/Turabian Style

Levaggi, Laura, Rosella Levaggi, Carmen Marchiori, and Carmine Trecroci. 2020. "Waste-to-Energy in the EU: The Effects of Plant Ownership, Waste Mobility, and Decentralization on Environmental Outcomes and Welfare" Sustainability 12, no. 14: 5743. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145743

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