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RE: [GreenYes] RE: Recycling's Future and Pigovian taxes
Named after the French economist, named Pigou, who thought it up. I learned 
about pigovian taxes in a very eye-opening class on ecological economics 
that was offered at a local night school about ten years ago. If Pigou 
interests you, read Herman Daly, too!
H.

At 05:39 PM 02/26/2002 -0500, Pete Pasterz wrote:
>Thanks, Jeff...do you happen to know the etymology of the word?
>
> >>> "Aluotto, Jeffrey" <Jeffrey.Aluotto@hamilton-co.org> 02/26/02 04:05PM >>>
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Pigovian tax would be a tax on each unit of a
>"wrong" (as opposed to a good) produced by a certain activity.  These taxes
>are typically used for correcting situations where externalities exist and
>to provide an economic, as opposed to regulatory, means of reducing the
>negative activity.  Most often applied to pollution cases.  In this case, a
>pigovian tax on waste would be on each ton, cubic yard, etc. of waste
>landfilled.
>
>Jeff
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Wayne Turner [mailto:WAYNET@cityofws.org]
>Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 2:05 PM
>To: Reindl@co.dane.wi.us; greenyes@grrn.org; anderson@recycleworlds.org;
>hspie@telus.net
>Subject: [GreenYes] RE: Recycling's Future and Pigovian taxes
>
>
>Would someone care to enlighten me about what a Pigovian tax is?
>
>
>B. Wayne Turner
>City of Winston-Salem
>Utilities Division
>phone: (336) 727 8418
>email: waynet@cityofws.org
>
> >>> "Reindl, John" <Reindl@co.dane.wi.us> 02/26/02 09:39AM >>>
>As noted in earlier email notes, several European countries are using
>Pigovian taxes on solid waste disposal, including both landfills and
>incinerators. This includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK. In Norway,
>the tax was set after an extensive study was done on the externalities of
>solid waste disposal and the tax was set at $40 a ton at landfills and
>incinerators without energy recovery, somewhat less at incinerators with
>energy recovery. An interesting report on evaluating the externalities of
>solid waste management is the Ph.D thesis of Inger Brisson of Denmark, who
>did her doctorate under Professor David Pearce in the UK. A report on her
>work is on the Internet at http://www.akf.dk/eng/waste.htm
><http://www.akf.dk/eng/waste.htm> .
>
>In response to Helen's question, in most cases, it does not appear that the
>tax has been used to fund environmental programs specifically. Instead, the
>view seems to be that because the disposal of solid waste imposes costs on
>the general public, it is sufficient to use the tax money for general
>purposes.
>
>The field of economics that assigns economic values to environmental impacts
>is often called environmental valuation. In Denmark, a national institute of
>environmental valuation is being established and the controversial author
>Bjørn Lomborg has been chosed to head this institute, according to an
>article in today's Danish newspaper Politiken.
>
>Besides imposing taxes on the environmental impacts of materials disposal,
>it does not appear that Pigovian taxes have been applied in these countries
>on the extraction of raw materials. Indeed, in at least several of these
>countries, subsidies are given for virgin materials, as we do in the US.
>
>If anyone would like other references to studies done in these countries on
>the economic costs of externalities from solid waste, please let me know. In
>return, I would appreciate knowing of such studies from other parts of the
>world.
>
>John Reindl, Recycling Manager
>Dane County, WI
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Helen Spiegelman [mailto:hspie@telus.net]
>Sent: Monday, February 25, 2002 6:29 PM
>To: Peter Anderson; GreenYes
>Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Technology and Recycling's Future
>
>
>Two cents:
>
>I think Peter's right. A key risk to recyclers exists because of the gap
>between them and the decision-makers in product/package design. No sooner
>does the recycler invest in equipment to handle widget X than the producer
>of widget X introduces a new-and-improved widget X' that the equipment can't
>handle. If Widget X, Inc. were responsible for recycling as well as
>producing its widgets, they might go for automated recycling equipment -- or
>not -- but you can be sure there would be good communication between the
>design-production dept and the recycling dept. This is, as I understand it,
>the gap that Peter and PRP are trying to fill with plastics, right Peter?
>This is why more and more of us are trying to get producers engaged in
>recycling and believe that in the next phase recyclers will be suppliers to
>producers, rather than to municipalities and an adjunct to the waste
>industry, which is the current situation, more often than not.
>
>Peter, do you have any insights into how we can go about getting landfill
>pricing right? Are you thinking of Pigovian taxes that would raise the
>price, leveling the playing field with recycling? Seems to me that is a
>necessary but not sufficient condition. If it is a tax/surcharge that will
>level the price upwards, what will happen to the $$ collected? We need to be
>thinking about how those $$ would be deployed in an economically efficient
>way. Do you have any ideas?
>
>At 05:40 PM 02/25/2002 -0600, Peter Anderson wrote:
>
>
>     That's why we have to concentrate all of our fire power are getting
>landfill pricing corrected...
>
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