Environmental Quality and Residuals Management: Report of a Research Program on Economic, Technological, and Institutional Aspects

By Allen V. Kneese; Blair T. Bower | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Integrated Residuals Management at the Microlevel: General Considerations

In chapter 2 we presented a schematic diagram of an overall residuals- environmental quality management (REQM) system. This and the next chapter focus on the meaning of integrated residuals management with respect to box 1 of that diagram--the production and consumption activities in the economy--and with respect to the interrelationships among boxes 0, 1, and 2. We do this by analyzing residuals generation and management at the individual activity level, looking at various options for reducing residuals discharges and their costs. Such analyses are essential to analyses of REQM at both micro (regional) and macrolevels. This chapter provides a qualitative description of some of the important factors affecting residuals generation in society and the effects of changing those factors; the next chapter describes quantitative studies of individual activities.


In Production and Consumption Activities

The forms (liquid, solid, gaseous) of residuals generated in individual activities can be changed by modification processes as can, to some degree, the types of residuals (mass versus energy). The amounts and composition of residuals can also be affected by the types of raw materials used; the product mix and product specifications;1 the introduction of materials-

____________________
1
We find it useful to distinguish between product mix and product specifications. For example, a product mix change for a paper mill producing consumer products would be a shift from manufacturing 50 percent paper towels and 50 percent tissues to producing 25 percent paper towels and 75 percent tissues. For any given product mix, there could be different specifications for each of the products, that is, GEB 80 or GEB 25 for the paper towels. Similarly, a petroleum refinery might shift the proportions of gasoline and kerosene or jet fuel produced, at the same time maintaining or changing the specific characteristics of the gasoline, or kerosene produced, or both.

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