Public concern for the conservation of natural resources and a general awareness of the environmental consequences of waste disposal is reflected in current legislation aimed at reducing waste. Recycling is commonly cited as one of the preferred methods of waste reduction and this book summarizes a recent study of paper recycling in Europe, which investigated the entire production and disposal process using a life-cycle methodology. The results of the study underline the economic and environmental advantages of paper recycling, but more controversially, they also show how, under certain conditions, the renewable character and the high energy content of paper seem to make energy recovery more attractive than recycling.
Professor Sten Nilsson is leader of IIASA's Forest Resources Project. He joined IIASA in 1986 and carried out a study in the effects of air pollution on forests. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and the author of a number of books and publications including Mountain World in Danger, published by Earthscan in 1991. Professor Yrjo Virtanen is head of the Energy Technology Division of the Laboratory of Electrical and Automation Engineering at the Technical Research Centre of Finland. He joined IIASA's Social and Environmental Dimensions of Technology Project in 1990, and his recent work has focused on applying environmental impact assessment methodology to material recycling problems.