The Downside of Garbage Bag Taxes

An often touted solution to the problem of too much garbage is charging a tax on each garbage bag picked up by local garbage services. However, according to Levitt and Dubner, authors of the book SuperFreakonomics, this hasn’t worked out very well in some amusing ways.

In addition to creating an incentive to create less garbage, it gives people other incentives:

1. Stuff bags fuller. This has become known as the “Seattle Stomp”.

2. Dump garbage in the woods. This was done in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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This article has 6 Comments

  1. Rajan G.

    Garbage tax? That’s new to me. Seems dumb! Aint gonna happen.

  2. Ajay

    Might be a market for home trash compactors like the tihngs americans have in all their homes in their sinks. It chews up the junk you toss into the sink before washing it down the pipes into the sewer.

  3. Arnav Self

    There’s going to be a lot more bonne fires that is for sure.

  4. Kieron Remmers

    A garbage bag tax is an interesting idea but ultimately will fail. As the article points out people will find ways to get rid of their garbage and the most common will be to stuff bags more.

    The solution is better healthy eating that requires less disposable litter.

  5. Kim R

    People will resort to other means than to accept a tax. I know i have tossed a few bags onto neighbors sides at times and that is without a tax. Imagine if a tax were in place.

  6. Iridian S.

    This country is becoming too obsessed with taxes. When you are getting taxed for garbage bags it is going too far.

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