Cost recovery for urban sanitation in Asian countries: insurmountable barrier or opportunity for sustainability?

Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics Conference Proceedings, 2005, pp. 17 - 29
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Urban sanitation and waste management services are in crisis in many Asian countries, attributed to a number of factors. In this paper we argue that the crisis is exacerbated by the application of inappropriate economic and technological models for urban sanitation. We examine why the dominant models, including full-cost pricing driven by neoclassical economics, are inappropriate in the context of Asian countries. On the basis of Ecological Economics and Buddhist Economics, we identify a set of principles for arriving at more sustainable solutions. Sanitation s role as a service for waste removal and disposal is expanded to a synergistic group of economically feasible services provided through cooperation between service providers, community and government. The STEEP framework is shown to be a useful way to tailor the sanitation options on the basis of contextual factors.
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