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Municipal Solid Waste Management for Sustainable Development: Principles and Policy Instruments

Sathiendrakumar, R. (2003) Municipal Solid Waste Management for Sustainable Development: Principles and Policy Instruments. In: ORBIT 2003 Organic Recovery and BIological Treatment Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of ORBIT Association on Biological Processing of Organics: Advances for a Sustainable Society, 30 April - 2 May 2003, Perth, Western Australia pp. 431-441.

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There are a large number of definitions on sustainable development (see Pezzey; 1989). This paper will use some of those definitions that relate to economic activity only. The World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) under the chairmanship of Gro Brundtland, defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987, p.43). The above definition is closely related to the concept of inter-generational equity, however the world does not operate on the basis of needs. The world operates on the basis of unlimited wants with limited resources. On this basis Pearce and Warford (1993) redefined sustainable development as "development that secures increases in the welfare of the current generation provided that welfare in the future does not decrease" (p. 49). This paper uses the definition put forward by Pearce and Turner (1990), who define sustainable development as development that "involves maximising the net benefits of economic development, subject to maintaining the services and quality of natural resources over time" (p. 24). This definition has the following implications on resource utilization by any generation:
• Renewable resources should be utilised at a rate equal to or less than their natural rate of regeneration: and
• Non-renewable resources should be utilised in a manner, subject to:
• Resource substitutability; and Technological availability and the likelihood of technological progress.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Murdoch University
Copyright: ORBIT Association
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