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EPA (2001), EEA (1999, 2003), CSERGE (1993), Miranda and Hale (1997), and European Commission (2000). 49 burning or dumping, then Figure 4 is not an accurate depiction of welfare gains. Waste policies need to account for methods of avoidance or evasion. If households are able to dump their garbage, the social cost of dumping may far exceed the social cost of additional waste disposal in a landfill. In this case, it would be better to offer free garbage collection than to implement a pricing policy that leads to widespread dumping.

Detailed cost-benefit analysis would certainly provide better information about externalities and make it possible to adjust waste management policies in such a way as to optimise their environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency. However, given the difficulties of carrying out such studies, mentioned above, we should not take a wait-and-see attitude or refrain from acting on the grounds that we do not know enough or that it costs too much, especially as waste generation is continuing to rise.

Detailed cost-benefit analysis would certainly provide better information about externalities and make it possible to adjust waste management policies in such a way as to optimise their environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency. However, given the difficulties of carrying out such studies, mentioned above, we should not take a wait-and-see attitude or refrain from acting on the grounds that we do not know enough or that it costs too much, especially as waste generation is continuing to rise.

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