Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Waste Management: An Evaluation of Economic Instruments Available for Solid Waste Management

Sathiendrakumar, R. (1996) Waste Management: An Evaluation of Economic Instruments Available for Solid Waste Management. Economic Papers: A Journal of Applied Economics and Policy, 15 (3). pp. 78-87.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


During the production process waste is generated. Waste is also generated in the household sector during consumption. The disposal of waste affects both the current generation as well as future generation, and is a major environmental concern for both developed and developing economies. The first law of thermodynamics states that matter (or energy) can neither be created nor destroyed, but during the process of production and or consumption, matter is taken from the environment, transformed and returned to the environment. When it is returned to the environment, it is not returned in the same form in which it was extracted. If it was, then the problem of waste management would not exist. Thus, the returning of the material in a transformed form creates a problem with regard to the assimilation of the waste by the environment. Furthermore, the second law of thermodynamics, that is the law of entropy, states that for all processes entropy either is constant or increases. Entropy is a thermodynamic quantity which always increases for irreversible processes, giving direction in time for processes which might otherwise appear reversible from energy considerations alone. The above law rules out the possibility of a 100% recycling of waste. The environment is a composite asset. Depreciation of the environmental asset will reduce the services that the environment could provide for future generations. Therefore, the objective of development should be to minimise the undue depreciation of this asset.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Economic Society of Australia
Copyright: Economic Society of Australia
Publisher's Website:
Item Control Page Item Control Page