Assessment of total urban metabolism and metabolic inefficiency in an Irish city-region

This paper aims to measure product and waste flows in an Irish city-region using the principles of metabolism and mass balance. An empirical indicator to measure resource efficiency, using a ratio of waste disposal as a function of product consumption, was developed and it was found that total materials metabolic inefficiency fell by 31% from 0.13 in 1996 to 0.09 in 2002. The paper concludes by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this indicator and its potential application in the field of sustainable consumption and resource efficiency as well as making suggestions to improve and strengthen the indicator.

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