One funding mechanism with a proven track record of raising funds to reduce and recycle waste is the establishment of a per-ton surcharge on waste landfilled or incinerated. A waste disposal surcharge is typically a fee added to the per-ton tipping fees charged for waste disposal at waste disposal sites such as landfills, incinerators, and transfer stations. They can be charged to waste haulers or even at the generator-level such that households and businesses are taxed directly based on waste generated.
Featured here are various examples of waste surcharges or fees that allocate generated revenue to fund recycling, composting, and waste diversion efforts. Some also support other environmental programs (such as Pennsylvania’s grant program). While most of these waste surcharges are implemented at the state level, there are a few notable local examples too.
Check out our article “Surcharges on Waste Disposal Fund Composting,” which further discusses and analyzes these policies. We also helped introduce a model bill in Maryland for the 2022 legislative session, you can find more info on that here.
Use our model legislation template to introduce a policy like these in your own state or locality.