Conservation and Economic Efficiency: An Approach to Materials Policy

By Talbot Page; African Diaspora Studies Institute | Go to book overview

there should be are in large part questions of administrative cost. The work done by Fred Smith of the Office of Solid Waste Management Programs suggests a concentration on paper and packaging products, which dominate the municipal solid waste stream. For paper, the tax would be collected at the paper mills, of which there are fewer than 800. In other cases, the administrative costs of remedy may be too high to be worth the cure and it may be preferable for us to live with the inefficiency arising from the market's inability to incorporate disposal costs into product price.


Notes
1.
If the costs of disposal were internalized, the price to the disposer would be negative in the following sense mentioned in chapter 2: for valuable material objects one receives cash or something valuable for giving them up, but for waste materials one expends cash or effort in getting rid of them. In some economic models it is mathematically convenient to deal only in nonnegative prices, and in such cases it is customary to cast the problem as paying or not paying non-negative prices for waste removal services.
2.
To the extent that mining wastes are long lived, they may affect the resource base for future generations and become an issue of intertemporal fairness.
3.
For a comprehensive treatment of the costs of solid waste collection and processing in rural areas, see F. Lee Brown and A. O. Lebeck, Cars, Cans, and Dumps: Solutions for Rural Residuals ( Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press for Resources for the Future, 1976).
4.
Environmental Protection Agency update of the 1971 figure cited in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Second Report to Congress: Resource Recovery and Source Reduction ( Washington, D.C., 1974), table 1, p. 3.
5.
This is an estimated national average, by the Office of Solid Waste Management Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1974. For Washington, D.C., for 1969-70, Quimby found the cost of collection to be $25 a ton, the cost of landfill $3 a ton, and the cost of incineration $8 a ton. Quimby, Recycling, table 11, pp. 104-105.
6.
The first five methods are taken from Burke and Fisher. For more on this subject and for further references, see Jacquelin Burke and Weston Fisher, Realities of Recycling ( Minneapolis, Minn., Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 1973).
7.
Burke and Fisher, Realities, p. 37.
8.
Allen Hammond, William Metz, and Thomas Maugh II, Energy and the Future ( Washington, D.C., American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1973) p. 73.
9.
Burke and Fisher, Realities, p. 48.
10.
The iron content of municipal solid waste is at best 5 percent, while the iron content of low grade iron ore is 35-40 percent; aluminum is 0.7 percent of municipal solid waste and is 15-25 percent of bauxite.
11.
A presentation at the Engineering Foundation Conference "Recycle Implementation" (Asimolar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, Cal., Feb. 13-17, 1972).
12.
The figure of $4 billion is often used but this appears too high. While it is often said that collection, processing, and disposal of solid waste constitute the third highest local expenditure, ranking just after schools and roads, Vaughan and the Bureau of the Census arrive at a figure of direct local expenditure of $1.7 billion. See Richard D. Vaughan, "National Solid Wastes Survey: Report, Summary and Interpretation,"

-105-

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Conservation and Economic Efficiency: An Approach to Materials Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Title Page xix
  • 1 - Introduction: Toward A Materials Policy 15
  • Part One - Material Flows and Uses 17
  • 2 - Virgin Material Intensity and Waste Management 33
  • 3 - Competition Between Primary and Secondary Industries 34
  • Part Two - Intratemporal Efficiency 59
  • 4 - Discriminatory Pricing 61
  • 5 - Disposal 105
  • 6 - Taxes on VIrgin Materials 139
  • Part Three - Intertemporal Equity 143
  • 7 - The Present Value Criterion 170
  • 8 - The Conservation Criterion 188
  • 9 - The Criteria Reconciled 206
  • 10 - Conclusion 208
  • Appendixes 215
  • Notes 221
  • Notes 225
  • Notes 234
  • Notes 251
  • Index 253
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