The generation of municipal solid waste is a problem for societies aspiring to sustainability within their municipalities. Policymakers responsible for this issue apply formulas to fund solid waste management by charging taxes or fees. The formulas differ in that some link charges to the event or to the producer of the waste rather than to the environmental‘polluter pays principle’. Among the range of options for funding this service, the literature identifies “pay as you throw” (PAYT), as the method that most directly relates user charges to contributions to environmental sustainability.This study begins by exploring the types of charges in effect in 52 Spanish provincial capitals and, where applicable, the variables to which they are related. Next, it conducts a case study of the city of Madrid, whose solid waste charge, in force from 2009 to 2014, was based on property values. The case study aims to confirm the relationship—over time—between waste generated (total and per property), number of properties (place where the waste was generated) and properties' rateable value. The results reveal, first, that the most widely-used solution at local government level is the easiest to apply—namely, a flat rate per household or a step-variable flat rate covering on average 59.03% of the cost (in 2012); and, second, that Madrid's waste step-flat rate cannot be considered a PAYT system, despite it covers up to 70% of the cost (in 2012).
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: May 10, 2018
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