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OPTIMAL SOLID WASTE TAX POLICY WITH CENTRALIZED RECYCLING

Thomas C. Kinnaman
National Tax Journal
Vol. 63, No. 2 (June, 2010), pp. 237-251
Published by: National Tax Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41791010
Page Count: 15
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Abstract

Economic models have demonstrated the efficiency ofcurbside collection taxes. This paper demonstrates that such efficiencies disappear in economies with centralized recycling options — where recyclable materials can be removed from the waste stream either by households or at a centralized recycling facility. In such economies, a curbs ide garbage tax not only fails to encourage the centralized recycler to internalize the external costs of waste disposal, but introduces inefficiencies to the costminimizing mix of household and centralized recycling efforts. The optimal waste policy is a tax assessed further downstream at the landfill rather than at the curb.

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