Allan, G. and Hanley, N. and McGregor, P.G. and Swales, J.K. and Turner, K. (2004) An extension and application of the leontief pollution model for waste generation and disposal in Scotland. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.
Solid waste generation, treatment and disposal are important policy concerns for the Scottish Parliament. As a result of the Environment Act 1995, a National Waste Strategy for Scotland was introduced with the general aim of reducing the amount of waste produced and dealing with what is produced in more sustainable ways. This implies the need for an empirical framework to inform policymakers regarding the relationship between economic activity and waste generation, treatment and disposal and the likely impacts of any policy actions or other disturbances on all types of sustainability indicators. In this paper we report on a study to develop an extended input-output (IO) system of the type originally proposed in the seminal paper by Leontief (1970). This involves extending the standard IO accounts to take account of pollution or waste generation as an additional output accompanying production and consumption activities in the economy and of the activity required to clean up (or prevent) these unwanted outputs. The extension of IO tables to take account of pollution/waste generation is relatively widespread in the literature. It is usually achieved through the introduction of physical pollution/waste-output coefficients, and has been previously applied to Scotland for the case of air pollution (see McNicoll & Blackmore, 1993, McGregor et al, 2001). Such an approach allows us to examine the impact of the economy on the environment, in terms of the amount of pollution/waste emitted as a result of economic activity. However, it does not allow us to track the feedback from the environment to the economy in terms of the resources used in environmental cleaning. If we are interested in this aspect, we need to identify the input structure of any pollution abatement or waste disposal activities and identify columns in the IO tables representing cleaning activities.
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