Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Trash

"Bag-and-tag", "pay-per-throw", "polluter pays", it's all the same idea:

Impose Pigouvian taxes on things that cause external damage and society will be better off, because raising marginal costs creates an economic incentive for people to reduce quantity.

Here's a writer in Washington DC lamenting the lack of pay-per-throw trash disposal.

A related issue: plastic grocery bags.

What do you think about this approach versus this approach?
Is there another way?

3 comments:

jennifer said...

Small garbage cans and large recycle bins, simple.

In most households, very little trash is non recyclable or compostable because we should eat all our food and refrain from purchasing non recyclable packaging. Most of our waste can be sorted into bins,dropped off at second hand shops or given to organizations that provide items to people for re-use.

The PAYT system seems most efficient and the sized trash cans along with over flow tags will work toward a more fair system of dividing waste removal cost.

The system may also work as an incentive to be more conscious of what is recyclable if only in effort to make room for more rubbish in the can. It may encourage composting for those households that would normally through away food.

Joel Garner said...

As jennifer said providing means to recycle is very simple. The main problem is making individuals recycle. Incentives should be made to those who purchase and/or recycle items that fit the criteria. Getting individuals in on the act is the hardest part but finding a way a benefit to the individual could be the answer. Possibly a sort of dividend payout at the end of the year for poundage of recycled goods per household or per community could be paid. People just in many cases will just not react without a possible future benefit.

jll9260 said...

Its easy to tell people to recycle, but a large group of the population want some type of financial compensation for recycling. It will be diffucult to convince people to recycle if they are charged for trash production.The incentive to recycle must be equal or more to the price of the collection charge or some people will not take the time to do it. They may illegally dump their trash to avoid the charges.