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The investment and treatment efficiencies of industrial solid waste in China’s Yangtze and non-Yangtze River Economic Belts


With the rapid development of China’s industrial sector, solid waste emissions have exploded along with the mismatch between treatment efficiency and economic development becoming increasingly prominent. The Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) is one of the most important core areas for the country to participate in economic globalization. Its expansive area and intensive industrial distribution mean more severe challenges for the treatment of industrial solid waste. Through the dynamic data envelopment analysis (DEA) method, this research selects 30 provinces to evaluate the efficiency of industrial solid waste treatment in YREB and non-Yangtze River Economic Belt (NYREB) and discusses the relationships among input, production, re-use, and disposal of industrial solid waste in the two regions. Findings show that the average efficiency of NYREB in recent years for many provinces shows a downward trend and an unstable solid waste treatment effect. Most average efficiency values of solid waste treatment in YREB provinces concentrate at a higher level, but the overall trend is positive. Finally, we note clear and polarizing differences between the two regions.

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  1. Data source: Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China.

  2. Data source:

  3. Law of the People’s Republic of China on the prevention and control of environmental pollution by solid waste (revised on November 7, 2016).



Yangtze River Economic Belt


Non-Yangtze River Economic Belt


Municipal solid waste


Decision-making units


Dynamic DEA


Slack-based measures


Overall efficiency


Term efficiency


Decision-making unit


Data envelopment analysis


Charnes and Cooper and Rhodes input orientation [1]


Banker and Charnes and Cooper output orientation [2]


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This study was supported by the Later Funded Projects of National Social Science Foundation (21FJYB047) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (B210207018).

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Authors and Affiliations



Conceptualization, F-RR; methodology, F-RR; software, ZT; validation K-JC; formal analysis, K-JC; investigation, F-RR and K-JC; resources, ZT; data curation, F-RR; writing—original draft preparation, YZ; writing—review and editing, K-JC and YZ; visualization, YZ; supervision, ZT; project administration, F-RR; funding acquisition, F-RR.

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Correspondence to Fang-rong Ren.

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Ren, Fr., Chen, Kj., Tian, Z. et al. The investment and treatment efficiencies of industrial solid waste in China’s Yangtze and non-Yangtze River Economic Belts. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 24, 900–916 (2022).

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  • Dynamic DEA
  • Efficiency
  • Industrial solid waste
  • YREB