The determinants of municipal solid waste management efficiency in EU countries


Tobit Regression Model
European Union
municipal solid waste treatment efficiency

How to Cite

Osińska, M. (2024). The determinants of municipal solid waste management efficiency in EU countries. Economics and Environment, 88(1), 637.


The main purpose of this paper is to assess the municipal solid waste management (MSWM) efficiency of European Union countries and to identify the determinants of this efficiency before and after introducing Directive (EU) 2018/851. The research was conducted for 23 EU Member States in order to analyse the two highest-priority waste treatment methods (material recycling and energy recovery) and the level of greenhouse gases emitted by the waste management sector. The data for 2015-2020 were extracted from the Eurostat database. The period of data was divided into two sub-periods: 2015-2017 (the period before introducing the Directive) and 2018-2020. MSWM efficiency scores were calculated using the DEA method. Later, the Tobit Regression Model (TRM) was applied to identify the determinants. The efficiency analysis showed that the countries which joined the EU before 2000 improved their MSWM efficiency in 2018-2020 compared with 2015-2017. On the other hand, the average efficiency scores of the countries that joined the EU after 2000 decreased. In 2015-2017, the following determinants of MSWM efficiency occurred to be statistically significant: population density, unemployment rate, the number of patents and the tourism intensity index, while in 2018-2020: population density, unemployment rate, Research & Development (R&D) expenditure, higher education proportion and MSW generated. A detailed analysis of these variables showed that the countries that joined the EU after 2000 should first increase their R&D expenditure and support their inhabitants in increasing their educational level.


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