The Informal Sector and Waste Paper Recovery in Bombay

CREED Working Paper No. 5

Posted: 10 Jul 2001

See all articles by Pieter van Beukering

Pieter van Beukering

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Edwin Schoon

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Ajit Mani

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 1996

Abstract

The lack of raw materials is considered to be one of the main constraints to a comprehensive recycling industry in the South. This paper looks at the possibilities for increasing recyclable waste recovery in developing countries, focusing on Bombay, India. First, a literature study provides a general introduction to the problems of solid waste and recovery in developing cities. Based on field surveys in the informal recovery sector and literature on formal waste collection, a simulation model for the solid waste flows in Bombay is developed. Two policy options under varying degrees of public response are considered: the encouragement of the existing informal recovery sector and the introduction of a Western style recovery system. Extrapolations of four different effects are presented for the period until 2010: formal and informal employment, environmental impact, public expenditure and income distribution. Promoting informal recovery seems to be a more cost-effective and environmentally optimal policy measure: investment requirements are minimal while landfill costs are reduced; employment effects are also positive because of the high labour intensity of informal waste recovery. However, the impact on income distribution is worse than a Western- style policy.

JEL Classification: Q29, O13

Suggested Citation

van Beukering, Pieter and Schoon, Edwin and Mani, Ajit, The Informal Sector and Waste Paper Recovery in Bombay (June 1996). CREED Working Paper No. 5, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=5020

Pieter Van Beukering (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1115
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands
+ 31 20 444 9555 (Phone)
+ 31 20 444 9553 (Fax)

Edwin Schoon

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1115
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

Ajit Mani

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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