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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Time Has Come to Tax Trash in the US

Really, the time has long since come and gone that we need to tax trash.

Yes, tax trash.

Check out this one statistic:

In 2010, U.S. residents recycled 34% of their waste–an embarrassing amount compared to European countries like the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria, where people recycle almost all of their waste. In Sweden, people are so diligent about recycling that just 4% of all trash ends up in landfills...

We Americans figured, I think, we have all this space--quite unlike Europe--we don't have to care.

Well, we do have to care. The total municipal solid waste in 2012 alone was 251 million tons. (see link below). And that amount has surely risen greatly since then.

The time is now.

The more one throws away, the more you pay. It only makes sense. We need to do this.

In the first place, we throw away and waste far too much. We all know that. If we recycled only paper, aluminum and glass, alone, millions upon millions of pounds, if not tons, of products wouldn't go to waste dumps.

Second, surely we recognize we can no longer afford the soil, the Earth our waste dumps take up.

Third, there's the pollution it causes, the runoff into the soil and possibly into waterways. We have to recognize that--and that it must stop.

Then, there's the fact that it would be so very easy to do. And we could use the market economy to make this happen.

The smallest tax, employed to reduce this waste, would very likely have a huge,  positive effect.

And it's so simple. It's not like it wouldn't be understood.

The more your throw away, the more the hauler takes away, the more you pay. That's it. It makes far too much sense not to do this.

Can you imagine what we would save, what we would no longer waste, by doing this?

Think now about how much paper and plastic alone go into waste dumps just from corporate America--from the fast food industry alone.

We'd save the paper, we'd save the glass, we'd reuse the aluminum, all.

Then we'd be saving the land, saving our streams and saving forests.

No, this makes far, far too much sense.

We need to get on this.


 Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: Facts and Figures

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