Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
National Institute of Economic Research

No 109: Future Waste Scenarios for Sweden based on a CGE-model

Magnus Sjöström () and Göran Östblom ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Sjöström: National Institute of Economic Research, Postal: National Institute of Economic Research, P.O. Box 3116, SE-103 62 Stockholm, Sweden
Göran Östblom: National Institute of Economic Research, Postal: National Institute of Economic Research, P.O. Box 3116, SE-103 62 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Over the last decades, waste quantities have grown steadily in close relation to economic growth. To tackle the problem of continuing waste growth within the EU, waste prevention was listed among four top priorities in the EU Sixth environment Action Programme. A Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model is here used for projecting future quantities of hazardous and non-hazardous waste in Sweden to 2030. The effects of driving forces behind waste generation are illustrated by comparing the results of waste projections for a Baseline scenario and four alternative scenarios. The scenarios differ mainly in GDP growth rates and in the assumptions about future waste intensities of the economic activities of firms and households. We use a high-resolution data set on waste flows of 18 various types of non-hazardous waste and 16 various types of hazardous waste attributed to six waste-generating sources for the base year 2006. Waste generated in the scenarios, thus, relate to firms’ material input, output, employees, capital scrapping and fuel combustion as well as households’ consumption. The impact of economic growth in increasing the generation of nonhazardous and hazardous waste is apparent when comparing the growth of waste from 2006 to 2030 in the five scenarios. On the contrary, technological change resulting in less waste intensive production processes and changed behaviour among households, making their activities less waste intensive, have a strong reducing effect, especially on generation of non-hazardous waste relating to firms’ material input.

Keywords: general equilibrium model; waste generation; decoupling; waste intensities waste scenarios.

JEL-codes: C68; D20; H23; R48

42 pages, February 28, 2009

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