Federal Disincentives: A Study of Federal Tax Subsidies and Other Programs Affecting Virgin Industries and Recycling

A number of disincentives to recycling have been frequently, especially in analyses sponsored by EPA in the late 1970's, as impeding the expansion of materials recovery. The most commonly cited examples include the tax code, federal subsidies for natural resource development, trade policies and discriminatory freight rates.

Burning Public Money for Dirty Energy: Misdirected Subsidies for “Waste-to-Energy” Incinerators

Burning Public Money for Dirty Energy presents an overview of how U.S. energy policies are creating a range of subsidies for municipal waste incineration (MSW) projects, including emerging waste burning technologies of gasification, pyrolysis and plasma arc incineration. This report also identifies incentives for a wider spectrum of industries that are starting to identify as “waste-to-energy” projects, such as landfill gas to energy systems and anaerobic digestion (or biogas) facilities.

Pending convergence of subsidies to primary materials and ethanol?

My first stint in the world of subsidies was looking as federal disincentives to recycling in an analysis for the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Most often these took the form of subsidies to primary materials.  The linkages between extraction, energy-intensive processing, and competition with recycling and reuse markets were fascinating, but ones that EPA seems to have steered clear of for far too long. 

Leveling the Playing Field for Recycling: A Policy Report on Virgin Material Subsidies from the National Recycling Coalition

Prepared with the National Policy Workgroup of the National Recycling Coalition. September 1999.  Analysis identifies and quantifies a number of direct and indirect subsidies that put recycled materials at a disadvantage to virgin materials.

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