In this concise, engaging, and provocative work, Richard Porter introduces readers to the economic tools that can be applied to problems involved in handling a diverse range of waste products from business and households. Emphasizing the impossibility of achieving a zero-risk environment, Porter focuses on the choices that apply in real world decisions about waste. Acknowledging that effective waste policy integrates knowledge from several disciplines, Porter focuses on the use of economic analysis to reveal the costs of different policies and therefore how much can be done to meet goals to protect human health and the environment. With abundant examples, he considers subjects such as landfills, incineration, and illegal disposal. He discusses the international trade in waste, the costs and benefits of recycling, and special topics such as hazardous materials, Superfund, and nuclear waste. While making clear his belief that not every form of waste presents the same amount of risk, Porter stresses the need for open-minded approaches to developing new policies. For students, policymakers, and general readers, he provides insight and accessibility to a subject that others might leave out-of-sight, out-of-mind, or buried under an impenetrable prose of statistics and jargon.

chapter 1|20 pages

Economics and Waste: An Introduction

part 1|97 pages

Solid Waste Creation, Collection, and Disposal

chapter 2|16 pages

Business Waste

chapter 3|15 pages

Household Waste Collection

chapter 4|17 pages

Solid Waste Landfills

chapter 5|15 pages

Incineration of Solid Waste

chapter 6|16 pages

Illegal Disposal and Litter

chapter 7|17 pages

Exporting and Importing Waste

part 2|77 pages

Recycling Solid Waste Products

chapter 8|12 pages

Market Failure in Recycling

chapter 9|15 pages

Economics of Recycling

chapter 10|16 pages

Policies for Recycling

chapter 11|13 pages

Logistics of Recycling

chapter 12|10 pages

Markets for Recycling

chapter 13|10 pages

Yard Waste and Composting

part 3|59 pages

Special Waste Categories

chapter 14|19 pages

Hazardous Waste

chapter 15|21 pages


chapter 16|18 pages

Radioactive Waste

part 4|9 pages

Final Thoughts

chapter 17|8 pages

What Have We Learned?