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The Eco-Fee Imbroglio: Lessons from Ontario’s Troubled Experiment in Charging for Waste Management

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Author Info

  • Andrew Green

    (University of Toronto)

  • Michael Trebilcock

    (University of Toronto)

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    Abstract

    Charging for the life cycle cost of waste management is contentious. The recent example of some retailers charging “eco-fees” in Ontario, with respect to sales of household products such as detergent, batteries and fluorescent light bulbs, is a case in point. However, the Ontario program for municipal waste, which the provincial government has partially abandoned, is just one example of the movement known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which is spreading across the country and to many products. As in numerous other jurisdictions, Canadian provinces have imposed, or are considering, similar EPR programs for products such as tires, electronics and countless other goods. This Commentary uses lessons from Ontario’s waste programs to examine EPR’s potential attractions – when such programs are properly designed.

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    File URL: http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_316.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by C.D. Howe Institute in its journal C.D. Howe Institute Commentary.

    Volume (Year): (2010)
    Issue (Month): 316 (December)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:316

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    Related research

    Keywords: Economic Growth and Innovation; Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); Ontario; Canada; eco-fees; waste management life cycle cost;

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    1. Colin Busby & Benjamin Dachis & William B.P. Robson, 2010. "Unbalanced Books: How to Improve Toronto’s Fiscal Accountability," e-briefs 103, C.D. Howe Institute.
    2. Jotham Peters & Chris Bataille & Nic Rivers & Mark Jaccard, 2010. "Taxing Emissions, Not Income: How to Moderate the Regional Impact of Federal Environment Policy," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 314, November.
    3. Daniel Boothby & Torben Drewes, 2010. "The Payoff: Returns to University, College and Trades Education in Canada, 1980 to 2005," e-briefs 104, C.D. Howe Institute.
    4. Dave Sawyer & Carolyn Fischer, 2010. "Better Together? The Implications of Linking Canada-US Greenhouse Gas Policies," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 307, August.
    5. Philippe Bergevin & David Laidler, 2010. "Putting Money Back into Monetary Policy: A Monetary Anchor for Price and Financial Stability," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 312, October.
    6. Michael Hart, 2010. "A Matter of Trust: Expanding the Preclearance of Commerce between Canada and the United States," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 309, September.
    7. Pierre Siklos & Andrew Spence, 2010. "Faceoff: Should the Bank of Canada Release its Projections of the Interest Rate Path? – The Cases For and Against," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 134, October.
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