This study examines the role of the public sector in urban recycling. The starting point for the analysis is the observation that the process of urban recycling is both an economic process and a policy process. To fully understand when, why and how urban recycling takes place, it has therefore to be analyzed from an economic and from an institutional point of view. This provides insight into why urban recycling sometimes occurs spontaneously, driven by market forces, and other times does not work even after important efforts from the public sector. The central assumption in this study is that the public sector has to use market forces to successfully undertake processes of urban recycling. The study aims at demonstrating the validity of this assumption, and proposing forms of urban governance that allow for successful urban recycling. The main activities in the study are: - review and assessment of previous empirical research;
- examination and comparison of policies for urban recycling in France and the Netherlands;
- case studies of processes of urban recycling in France and the Netherlands;
- comparison and synthesis of results and identification of key economic and institutional characteristics of urban recycling;
- identification of obstacles, opportunities, and responsibilities associated with urban recycling;
- identification of wider implications of the research results for public policy for urban recycling.