3/31/2005

Landfill Taxes

How would you feel about being charged a fee for a landfill? That is one way that has been considered to pay for landfill taxes. This would cut down on recycling, because if you have to pay for a landfill then you might as well use it. Another solution would to charge each family for the amount of garbage they throw out. The way this would be done is by weight of garbage. It seems way to complicated who really has time going around and weighing garbage. But then people would just start burning and talk about pollution. I don’t know if there a solution or not to this. What do you think about the landfill tax, how should it be handled?

2 comments:

Mack said...

Right now if you use the landfill you have to pay a fee which in my opinion gives incentives to people to take their trash and leave it in the desert. If everyone had to pay for it in a regular tax, when you had to dump trash you would take it to the land fill because you had already paid for it. The other options in my opinion give perverse incentives to people to despose of trash in other ways.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Harry's post and Mack's comment for spelling errors.

Mack is right on this one.

A good is something that you pay to get. A bad is something you pay to get rid of.

Garbage, provided it is awful enough, is something that people will pay to get rid of. The problem is that most of it isn't that odious. In New Orleans, where I used to live, houses are raised off the ground. Trash that doesn't rot (for example, old pipe, bits of scrap wood, and so) was often tossed under your house because that was more economical than taking it to the dump.

The fact is that people dump garbage and trash because the prices to dispose of it are too high. This may be hard to envision when it takes little more than a trip to the landfill, but the evidence is there.

The solution to this is to lower the price of taking someone's garbage or trash even lower - and this might include paying someone to take away their garbage.