Municipal solid waste management in the Caribbean: a benefit-cost analysis
Includes bibliographyWaste management is one of the least recognized public policy issues in the Caribbean. Quite apart from the obvious physical unattractiveness of the business, waste management often competes with more pressing economic and social issues such as fiscal and trade matters, unemployment and poverty, education and health, and crime and security. Even within the domain of environmental sustainability, the management of waste has had to play second fiddle to more apparently manifest challenges such as land and coastal degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Waste management, however, remains a major challenge for any society, since all natural processes generate waste. The particular economic, social and environmental circumstances of the Caribbean make this issue especially critical for medium- to long-term sustainable development. The present study therefore seeks to undertake a costbenefit analysis of investment in waste management systems in the Caribbean, to assess the net economic effects of enhanced waste management and to identify opportunities for enhanced economic benefits through improved waste-stream management. The study uses a case-study approach and examines the issue in two Caribbean countries: Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.