A common way of charging residents for household waste is through a local tax on annual basis. The taxation is commonly based on the size of the actual property (ft. or m2) rather than the number of residents. In some cases, household pay for number of collections pr. month. By this aggregated approach it still remains unclear to what extent the revenue raised by this taxation covers the cost of collecting household waste to disposal.
Pay By Meter: Electricity, Gas, Water
Other serivces bougth by household include water, gas and electricity, all of which have been associated with the idea of sustainable development. The delivery and consumption of these services are measured, and household are expected to pay accordingly. Only companies that have been authorised are allowed to set up meters and inspect them on regular basis.
This is not the case for household waste. At least not yet.
Pay as you throw?
A lack of space for landfill, low rates of recycling and greenhouse gas emissions are few but many issues that inform the current discussion on household waste.
Fitting bins with microchips may be the solution, requiring household to pay as they throw. This is expected to “boost recycling” (see e.g. here on BBC, but this has been discussed for a while, see here and here at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), but has also fueled a debate on privacy concerns.
The question is whether recycling is a sufficient solution.
Finding a path to innovative solutions
Depending on what power consumers have, this may translate into demands for further efficiency in transport, packaging and storing at the up-stream levels of the supply chain. This was issued more than ten years ago by Prof. Marianne Jahre, at BI in Oslo, Norway, in a paper on Household waste collection as a reverse channel published in IJPDLM (1995, Vol. 25, No. 2), who proposed that the process of collection of waste for recycling may learn from concepts and approaches commonly used in forward logistics flow, for example postponement.
It will be interesting to see whether this constrain will result in any innovative solutions, and also what level of the supply chain will react upon this.
ps. A search for “pay as you throw” on Google resulted in 147.000 hits today.