Journal article

Decoupling Municipal Solid Waste Generation and Economic Growth in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the largest producer of municipal solid waste (MSW) per capita. The concept of delinking attempts to evaluate the relationship between consumption and production, and to measure the relationship between an activity and its impact on the environment. This paper uses the hypothesis of Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) to understand the impact of three socio-economic drivers on MSW generation in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Vaud is a French-speaking canton that recently set several measures to limit MSW generation. We use time series of indicators for income, urbanisation and policy implementation in ten districts of the canton, set as independent variables, between 1996 and 2015. A panel data analysis is performed using a generalized least squares procedure to test the presence of an EKC. Evidence show that urbanization is slightly negatively associated with MSW generation but without statistical significance. However, a direct policy mechanism such as the waste bag tax is significantly correlated with a decrease in waste generation. Overall, the presence of an EKC cannot be confirmed in the canton of Vaud as waste generation tends to stabilize as income increases. A significant input would be to perform a similar assessment in other cantons to fully inform decision-makers


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