How Far is Campania from the Best-Performing Region in Italy? A Territorial-Divide Analysis of Separate Waste Collection

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the divides in separate waste collection (SWC) between Campania and Veneto from a twofold perspective that considers both intensity (the size of the gap) and inequality (the differences among the SWC distributions across municipalities). In the framework of Kapp’s social cost theory, the Recentered Influence Function regression allows an evaluation of the amount of territorial divides that are accounted for by the: (i) regional component, which captures the extent to which regional authorities transpose national legislation into programs of waste management; (ii) municipal component, which explains the effect of the operational strategies adopted by each local authority to guarantee an adequate performance. As the best-performing region in Italy, Veneto reached an average SWC level far superior to that of Campania in 2012, and more importantly, most of its municipalities exceeded the 65% target set by Legislative Decree 152/2006 with a smaller variability within the region. However, a more detailed analysis shows that the policies and strategies for waste management set by the regional authority in Campania should be more effective at the initial stage, but are partly held back by the successive implementation steps controlled by each municipality. One of the primary deterrents of reaching a better performance in waste management in Campania lies in the weakness of its institutions, which makes the region more vulnerable with a large amount of heterogeneity in waste management performance across municipalities.

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Fig. 1

Source: our calculations based on ISPRA data

Fig. 2

Source: our calculations based on ISPRA data

Notes

  1. 1.

    A negative externality occurs when the production or consumption activities of a subject negatively affect the well-being of another person without the latter receiving compensation (in the case of negative impact) equal to the cost borne. For a review of the literature on environmental externalities, refer to the van den Bergh’s paper (2010).

  2. 2.

    The way to reduce waste production is not taxation because taxation only responds to the market logic and does not solve the problem (Distaso 2012). The cost of waste disposal in northern Italy is much higher than that sustained in the southern regions, resulting in a shift of waste from north to south, which, in part, is generating the waste emergency in Campania. In contrast, the “polluter pays principle”, which is associated with the concept of extended producer responsibility, allows treating waste as a social cost. For a definition of extended producer responsibility see http://www.oecd.org/env/tools-evaluation/extendedproducerresponsibility.htm.

  3. 3.

    D’Alisa et al. (2010) argued that Campania’s waste problem cannot be analysed as one of simple waste mismanagement. They spoke of a “crisis of democracy” in the waste management process that has generated conflicts between citizens and government.

  4. 4.

    D’Alisa et al. (2012) suggested using as complementary indicators the density of waste generated (DWG), the density of separate collection (DSC) and the density of waste disposed or the amount of waste not separately collected (DWD). The relationship among these variables is as follows: \( \frac{WG}{{KM^{2} }} = \frac{SC}{{KM^{2} }} + \frac{WD}{{KM^{2} }} \), where WG, SC, WD, and \( KM^{2} \) are the waste generated, separate collection, waste disposed and square kilometres, respectively. These variables offer a measure of the demographic pressure that the observed phenomenon exerts on the territory.

  5. 5.

    http://demo.istat.it/ (accessed June 2017).

  6. 6.

    http://demo.istat.it/ (accessed June 2017).

  7. 7.

    Following the literature on the factors that drive separate waste collection, we analyse the SWC rate as the ratio of tons of separate waste collection to total tons of urban waste collected (see Agovino et al. 2016, 2017; Mazzanti et al. 2008, 2009, 2012; Mazzanti and Zoboli 2013).

  8. 8.

    The municipalities for which official data were unavailable are not considered in the current analysis.

  9. 9.

    The municipalities of Veneto form homogeneous clusters with highly differentiated collection rates generating spatial clusters that can be explained by spatial diffusion processes (Agovino et al. 2016; Crociata et al. 2016). In contrast, the municipalities of Campania show a patchy distribution of SWC that does not generate spatial clusters.

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Correspondence to Gaetano Musella.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 5 and 6.

Table 5 RIF-regression coefficients (Mean and Gini index) on log-SWC rate. Campania and Veneto, 2012
Table 6 List of variables

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Garofalo, A., Castellano, R., Agovino, M. et al. How Far is Campania from the Best-Performing Region in Italy? A Territorial-Divide Analysis of Separate Waste Collection. Soc Indic Res 142, 667–688 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-018-1936-x

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Keywords

  • Waste management
  • Separate waste collection
  • Government policy
  • Regional Government analysis
  • Inequality
  • RIF regression

JEL Classification

  • C21
  • Q5
  • Q53
  • Q58
  • R11
  • R5