Thursday, September 14, 2006

Economic Disincentives for Recycling in Delaware

Loyal readers know that there is little that warms my heart so much as wonky economic analysis in support of responsible environmental policy.
Writing in the News Journal, former DNREC secretary Nick

The true cost of trash disposal is often hidden in the local tax bill when it is provided as a government service or for a flat fee when offered by a private service. It is important for consumers to understand the true cost, and to pay for service based on the amount of waste they generate. This is known as "pay as you throw."
Thus, the more you recycle, the less you pay for waste disposal. By way of example, my household consists of three adults and four pets. We have twice-weekly trash pickup. We generally have only one kitchen bag of trash per week. We recycle cardboard, glass, aluminum and bimetallic cans, batteries, rags, newspapers, magazines and office paper.
Unfortunately, under a flat fee arrangement, we pay the same as everyone else for trash disposal.
The good news about Delaware's low recycling rate is improving Delaware's low recyling rate is not terribly difficult or expensive:
Politics aside, this is one of the easiest of Delaware's environmental problems to fix.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I guess the recent, huge, gaff of a propsal he presented to utilize public lands for new-development waste has sent him scurrying for cover from the environmentalist's and controlled-growth folk's wrath.

And scurry well he should.

He has certainly vocalized the obvious here about the recycling problem in Delaware, its source and its solution.

Thanks again Mr. DiPasquale.

2:45 PM, September 15, 2006  

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