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Sustainability 2016, 8(5), 442;

Policy Mixes to Achieve Absolute Decoupling: A Case Study of Municipal Waste Management

Institute for Managing Sustainability, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, Building D1, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 21 April 2016 / Accepted: 21 April 2016 / Published: 4 May 2016
PDF [1183 KB, uploaded 10 May 2016]


Studying the effectiveness of environmental policies is of primary importance to address the unsustainable use of resources that threatens the entire society. Thus, the aim of this paper is to investigate on the effectiveness of environmental policy instruments to decouple waste generation and landfilling from economic growth. In order to do so, the paper analyzes the case study of the Slovakian municipality of Palarikovo, which has drastically improved its waste management system between 2000 and 2012, through the utilization of differentiated waste taxes and awareness-raising and education campaigns, as well as targeting increased recycling and municipal composting. We find evidence of absolute decoupling for landfilled waste and waste generation, the latter being more limited in time and magnitude. These policy instruments could therefore play an important role in municipalities that are still lagging behind in waste management. More specifically, this policy mix was effective in moving away from landfilling, initiating recycling systems, and to some extent decreasing waste generation. Yet, a more explicit focus on waste prevention will be needed to address the entirety of the problem effectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: policy mixes; absolute decoupling; waste management policy mixes; absolute decoupling; waste management

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Montevecchi, F. Policy Mixes to Achieve Absolute Decoupling: A Case Study of Municipal Waste Management. Sustainability 2016, 8, 442.

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