An Economic Analysis of the Waste and Recycling Policy of Japan and Taiwan
Over the past two decades, waste generation has increased at a rate similar to economic advances and caused serious environmental problems in many industrialized countries. These problems include the shortage of landfill sites, harmful substances from waste incineration facilities, and environmental risks such as air, water, and soil contamination from landfill sites and illegal dumping. In order to deal with these problems, the authorities have tried to intervene using a variety of waste management policies. Since the 1990s, they have strengthened the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) framework by treating waste as a valuable resource. In this way, Japan is steadily implementing approaches toward the establishment of a Sound Material-Cycle Society (hereafter SMS). To establish the SMS, various laws have been enforced to build systems of waste disposal and recycling concerning a variety of products: household appliances, automobiles, and personal computers for example. However, recycling policies for the same type of product widely vary among countries. Since its various policies have an influence on the establishment of the SMS, we need to research recycling policies among countries from an economic point of view.
Thus the purpose of this paper is to make an economic analysis of waste and recycling policy among countries. In particular, we address the personal computer recycling systems of Japan and Taiwan and make a policy evaluation of these systems from the viewpoint of social welfare. Our analysis shows two main results as follows. First social welfare cannot be maximized under the Japanese system. Second there is a possibility that social welfare is maximized under the Taiwanese system depending on the behavior of Resource Management Funds.
Key wordsRecycling Waste Waste management policy
JEL ClassificationQ53 Q56
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