The performance of Spanish solid waste collection

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Courtesy of SAGE Publications

In this paper we examine street cleaning and waste collection services in Spanish municipalities with a population exceeding 50 000. The purpose is to identify factors that influence the efficiency of these services. Three input variables (staff, vehicles and containers) and four outputs variables (tonnage, collection points, collection point density and kilometres of surface area washing) are analyzed using an analytical model based on Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology. These variables, along with non-controllable input variable (Tourist Index), were chosen because they were shown, based on a Tobit regression analysis, to have a statistically significant impact on municipality behaviour. The results obtained show that scale inefficiency was lower than pure technical efficiency, the latter is linked to service management. It was observed that the street-cleaning activity was performed more inefficiently than that of waste collection. Furthermore, it was detected that municipalities can reduce the resources used in rendering this service by 8%. Finally, an estimation using the Mann—Whitney test allows us to conclude that there is no difference between the inefficiencies observed in municipalities managed directly by town councils and those which have been transferred to private companies.

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