BAVARIAN RESEARCH ASSOCIATION FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING RESEARCH
(3) Economic and social requirements for sustainable waste management
In the order of precedence, waste management is oriented towards avoidance and utilization prior to treatment and disposal of wastes. The meaning of the above mentioned priorities was reinforced with respect to sustainability. Yet, the treatment and disposal of wastes will have a certain importance even in the future. The past showed clearly that the success of each of these approaches depends not only on scientific but also on economic and social criteria. Questions about consumer behaviour with respect to purchasing of products with minimal waste development, brand purity by separation of recycled materials, or the acceptance of the locations of treatment plants. The social, legal, and economic questions of modern waste management go even further. Today, citizen participation already during the decicion and planning phases instead of pure procurement of acceptance is the approach with the highest success degree. Whereas during waste disposal the principle of communal autonomy dominated, a reinforced regional communication is needed in the future with respect to optimal usage. Such cooperation, even beyond borders, may be meaningful in a “growing-together“ Europe, especially in border areas, providing that the same technical standards are present. A chage can be felt also in the significance of economic efficiency. The simple fee model is on its way out. The costs for waste management can be influenced by the choice of the business form, with private-public partnerships, as well as by a suitable financial concept. Likewise, material flows necessary for sustainable waste management cannnot be regulated according to classical laws. Rather, an up-to-date cooperation between industry and state is necessary. Such an approach is for example realized in the Bavarian Environmental Agreement. The development of new control instruments is therefore an important research field. The amount of disposable secondary raw materials and recycled products inevitably rises as a result of the increasing tendency to recycle. Hence, issues such as quality control, standardization, marketing, and also questions about product liability gain importance. Investigations about the required economic and social conditions (refer to BayFORREST Material Flux Management) are needed for the accomplishment of longer and more intensive product utilization, one of the aims of sustainable resources management. These few examples have shown that in this sector, the intensified participation of experts from the fields of law, economics, business management, as well as sociology and psychology, is not only necessary but highly desired and encouraged.