GreenYes Digest V96 #43

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GreenYes Digest Mon, 9 Dec 96 Volume 96 : Issue 43

Today's Topics:
? RE: Weekly # of MSW Collections
lookling for a job
States with landfill moratoria

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Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 09:17:32 -0800 (PST)
From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <>
Subject: ? RE: Weekly # of MSW Collections

Woody -

A couple of years ago, Durham went from twice per week back door garbage
collection to once per week roll-out cart collection. This saved money and
reduced worker injury due to the automated tipping of carts as vs.
physically emptying a variety of backyard garbage cans. Sanitation crews
and financial resources were transferred to weekly curbside recycling
collection and weekly yard trimmings collection. This is a good way to
increase recovery and keep the budget nearly the same by decreasing mixed
solid waste collection and disposal costs.

David Kirkpatrick
David Kirkpatrick
Post Office Box 15062
Durham, NC 27704-0062

919/220-8065 (Voice)
919/220-9720 (Fax)


Date: 08 Dec 96 14:16:49 EST
From: Myra Nissen <76275.1032@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: lookling for a job

B.S. Bio-ag Science with broad experience in composting, recycling, biosolids,
soils, and veterinary, public education and outreach seeks work. Prefer SF Bay
area. Excellent speaking, communication skills, strong in life science and
environmental issues, familiar with CEQA, 40CFR Part 503. Experienced in
forming and communicating public policy relating to recycling of organic matter,
open space. Contact Mandy Kleykamp, (510) 487-5090, OR RESPOND TO THIS E-MAIL.


Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 10:38:35 CDT
From: "John Reindl 608-267-8815" <>
Subject: States with landfill moratoria

Dear List Members -

It's my understanding that some states have imposed moratoria on the
development of landfills, either all landfills or perhaps just private

Can anyone fill me in on states that have done this?

Thanks much,

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI


Date: Sun, 08 Dec 96 13:34:42 PST

[Thanks to John Reindl for forwarding this piece --Bill S.]

The Effectiveness of Taxes in Reducing Waste (in Europe)

Iza Kruszewska, Clean Production Action (Poland)

First International NGO Skillhsare on Clean Production:
Background Reading Materials

The EU's waste strategy as proposed by the European Commission
sets a target of stabilising per capita waste generation by the year
2000 at its 1985 level. However, according to OECD 1995 statistics,
the quantity of waste per capita in the EU has increased from 330
kg/yr in 1985, to 390 kg in 1990 and 400 kg in 1992. Clearly, without a
waste strategy that includes economic and regulatory incentives this
goal will not be achieved.

In CEE, municipal waste generation was substantially lower than in
Western countries. However, with the adoption of Western patterns
of consumption it has sharply increased. During the communist era,
per capita industrial waste generation was probably higher than in
most EU countries, due to the concentration of inefficient heavy
industries. Due to industrial recession after the fall of communism,
industrial waste generation fell. Now, with industrial output rising
again in many CEE countries, this is bound to change. Most CEE
countries have only poor statistics for waste generation and few
policies and strategies for tackling the rising waste problem.

Belatedly, several EU countries are starting to introduce taxes on:

* different types of waste;

* on short-life products, such as one-way disposable packaging, and;

* particularly hazardous products, such as batteries, which generate
intractable waste streams.

The Different Purposes of Waste Taxes

Waste taxes can be cost covering charges where the revenues are
used either to pay for waste disposal services, such as the Dutch
household waste tax, or to finance recycling services, such as the
Swedish battery charge.

Or, they can be incentive taxes levied to change environmentally
damaging behaviour. Revenues are often used to further encourage
behavioural change. One example is the German toxic waste charge.

The third way that a waste tax can be used is as a fiscal
environmental tax, whereby surplus revenues from the tax can be
used to finance budget deficits or shift taxes from labour to resources.
Such a change in the tax system which shifts taxes away from labour
and capital and onto the use of resources is known as an ecological
tax reform (ETR).

Clearly, these three types of taxes are not mutually exclusive; a cost-
covering charge may have incentive effects, as may a fiscal tax, or
revenues from a fiscal tax may be partially used for environmental
purposes. The motivation for the taxes may even alter over time.
However, by classifying by the main purpose of the tax helps with
the evaluation of effectiveness.

Below are some examples of waste taxes introduced in different
countries and their effectiveness:


The UK's first green tax, the Landfill Tax, introduced in October 1996,
aims to cut waste, to get more of it reused or recycled and to boost
employment. It is Britain's first attempt at shifting taxation from jobs
to pollution. The Landfill Tax is expected to raise pounds 450,000 a
year, through a levy of pounds 7 a tonne on waste (reduced to
pounds 2 for 'inert' material, such as bricks or soil).

Kenneth Clark, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the
proceeds of the tax will help to take some pounds 500,000 a year off
employers' National Insurance contributions, encouraging them to
employ more people. He thus endorsed the central tenet of the
ecological tax reform.

Unfortunately, without a similar tax on waste incineration, the
Landfill Tax is likely to shift waste to incinerators. Thus, the aim of
the tax, which was to reduce or reuse waste, will not be achieved.


Denmark applies a charge on the disposal (dumping/landfilling and
incineration) of non-hazardous waste since 1987. It is a fiscal
environmental tax whose purpose is to reduce waste generation,
increase recycling and reuse, and ensure that a larger proportion is
burnt. The tax nearly doubles the cost of waste disposal. Revenues
from the waste charge go into the general budget. Since 1993, they
have been used as part of the green tax reform.

Current tax rates are DKK 195 per ton for dumping and DKK 160 per
ton for incineration. The difference in the rates reflects the aspiration
to increase the share of waste incinerated and to reduce the share of
waste for dumping.

The tax rates will be raised again in 1997. Waste incinerated with
energy recovery will be charged DKK 160 per ton; without energy
recovery, it will be DKK 210. Waste going to landfill will cost DKK
285 per ton.

Between 1985 and 1993, the reuse and recycling of waste has
increased from 21% to 50% of the total amount of waste generated.
During the same time, dumping dropped from 57% to 26%.
However, with increased reuse and recycling, the proportion of
waste incineration remained the same.

The financial effect of the waste charge is considerable. Landfill tariffs
(excluding the waste charge) are DKK 150 - DKK 250 per ton. The
waste charge of DKK 195 results in doubling the costs of waste
dumping. The tariffs for incineration are between DKK 150 and DKK
300 per ton. The waste charge of DKK 160 increases the costs of
incineration on average by 70%.

The Danish EPA believes that the wasate tax has prompted a
substantial increase in the reuse of demolition and construction
waste. Total waste generated has increased by only 2% between 1988
and 1993. During this period, the reused fraction increased from 12%
to 82%, which by far exceeds the target of 60% reuse set for the year
2000. Between 1985 and 1993, the recycling rate increased by some


In April 1991, the Land of Baden-Wuerttemberg in south-west
Germany introduced a charge on toxic waste to tackle the increasing
amounts of this waste. Hence, the tax can be regarded as an incentive
tax, even though it raises substantial revenues.

The tax rates were doubled in 1993 to DM 100, DM 200 and DM 300
per ton, depending on the potential danger of the waste and the costs
of its treatment. This has increased average costs of dumping and
incineration by 10-30%.

The amount of toxic waste generated has dropped from 606,000 tons
in 1991, to 430,000 tons in 1992 and 354,000 tons in 1993 - a 2045%
reduction. At the same time, revenues increased from DM 19,8
million in 1992 to DM 36,7 million in 1993.

However, according to a 1994 study, carried out by Eco-Institute in
Darmstadt, only half of the 250,000 tons of reduced toxic waste can be
regarded as prevented. The other half has disappeared due to tax
evasion and industrial recession. The tax has reduced the planned
capacities of incineration. Because consultants still see a huge
potential for further waste prevention, they are demanding that
incineration residues also be taxed. This will also hamper attempts at
tax evasion.


Some Dutch municipalities have moved away from charging a flat
rate for household and commercial waste collection and have
introduced differential charges. There are three main types of

* one or two municipalities actually weigh the contents of the
dustbin at the point of collection and charge accordingly;

* a few villages apply a "pay by bag" system;

* some municipalities base the municipal waste charge on the size of
the household or frequency of collection.

With charge bills increasing rapidly, the motivation for variable
charge rates is primarily to promote a fairer distribution of waste
management costs across households. However, it seems that
variable rates also have an incentive impact on households.

Municipalities with a 'pay-by-bag' system generated 10-20% less
waste per capita than comparable municipalities with traditional
systems. Illegal dumping was reported to be of no major problem,
provided that the price per waste bag did not exceed NFL 2.


In 1991, Sweden introduced charges on the sales of lead batteries over
3kg and small batteries containing over 0.025% mercury or cadmium.
Revenues from the charges are used to cover the costs of separate
collection and disposal, and to provide information.

Lead Batteries The charge rate is SEK 40 per kg. Extended producer
responsibility legislation places a statutory duty on those selling lead
batteries to take back used batteries. A special company was formed
to administer the revenues from this charge. The target for collection
was set at 95%. In 1991 and 1992, the number of used batteries
collected exceeded the number of new batteries sold. In 1993, the
collection rate was 95%.

Since the charge is only 6-8% of the price of batteries and consumers
have no other alternatives, the charge has not influenced
consumption of batteries. This is a user charge and its policy
effectiveness has to be measured in terms of the success of the
collection system, which is very good. Moreover, the charge renders
the recycling of lead batteries economically feasible.

Mercury (Hg) and nickel-cadmium (NiCd) Batteries Charge rates are
SEK 23 per kg for Hg batteries and SEK 25 per kg for NiCd. Revenues
are used for covering the costs of disposal, for supporting NiCd
battery recycling and for providing information. However, revenues
are dropping as battery producers reduce the amount of Hg and Cd
in batteries. Below a certain threshold of Hg or Cd, batteries are not
liable for tax.

The collection rate for Hg batteries was 89% in 1991, but only 49% for
NiCd, which is less than the 75% target set by government. NiCd
batteries have long durability and many are built into consumer
goods, thus avoiding registration and tax. A collection premium for
these batteries is under consideration.

The charges are too low to influence demand for batteries. Moreover,
the reduction in heavy metal content of new batteries is due more to
increased environmental awareness and international developments
than it is to price incentives. Although the policy effectiveness is still
good, in future with revenues falling further, battery disposal costs
may not be covered by the charge.


The OECD's first review of economic instruments used for
environmental purposes identified some 150 instruments in use in
1987, or 100 if purely administrative charges and liability are
excluded. In 1987, OECD member countries were still relying on
command-and-control policies with some economic add-ons. Most of
these environmental taxes had little incentive impact.

By 1994, the number of instruments had increased by over 50%, with
the most growth in product charges and deposit-refund systems.
Although this paper has focused on waste taxes, many countries have
also introduced taxes on short life or particularly hazardous
products, such as the battery charges in Sweden.

Deposit refund schemes encourage re-use and are used in many
countries on returnable glass bottles. Many countries have
introduced product charges to change consumer behaviour and/or to
cover the cost of disposing of used product. For example, Austria has
product charges on refrigerators, Sweden on cars and Hungary on
refrigerators, packaging and tyres.

Economic instruments can never totally replace regulatory and other
non-fiscal measures. They are only one set of instruments that will
move our production and consumption patterns to Clean Production.
Ultimately, it is impossible to 'price' clean air, clean water, species
biodiversity and human/wildlife health. While the use of non
renewable energy and materials should be taxed to reduce their
consumption, toxic and genetically engineered materials must be


"Environmental Taxes - Implementation and Environmental
Effectiveness", European Environment Agency, Copenhagen 1996.

"OPEN denounces the shortcomings of the new EU strategy for waste
management proposed by the Commission - suggestions for
improvement", Agence Europe, Brussels, 25 September 1996.

"Recycling everything but the paperwork", The Daily Telegraph, 30
September 1996, p 29.

"Waste not, want not - at last a tax everyone likes", Geoffrey Lean,
The Independent on Sunday, 29 September 1996, p 7.



End of GreenYes Digest V96 #43