This thesis investigates the impact of the provisions contained within a specific piece
of legislation - the Environmental Protection Act 1990 [EPA] - upon the management
of municipal solid waste. The legislation and its impact are considered within the
broader context of the Conservative government's privatisation policy during its
eighteen year period of office between 1979 and 1997 - and in particular the
requirement for local authorities to subject services to compulsory competitive tender.
Two sets of data covering the thirty-nine English shire county waste disposal
authorities [WDA] are analysed. The first provides a snapshot of local authorities'
expectations of the impact of the legislation as it began to be implemented whilst the
second, more detailed and comprehensive set, provides cost and other information on
an annual basis - covering a seven year period prior to the implementation of the EPA
legislation plus five years post-EPA.
Annual VEDA unit cost data is derived and trends and patterns identified, together
with potential cost drivers. As the analysis progresses the approach focuses more
upon using multiple regression techniques in an attempt to derive a predictive model
for changes in waste disposal costs. This is then supplemented by the consideration of
data envelopment analysis as a tool to be used to search for additional insights into
the picture painted by the multiple regression work.
The research concludes with a summary of the work done and draws conclusions,
together with outlining options for developing and extending the work further.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.