Cornwall ON – Charging producers for the life cycle cost of waste management is contentious, as shown by the recent controversy over “eco fees” in Ontario, but it can be an effective policy tool if done right, according to a study released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In The Eco-Fee Imbroglio: Lessons from Ontario’s Troubled Experiment in Charging for Waste Management, professors Andrew Green and Michael Trebilcock use lessons from Ontario’s waste programs to examine the benefits of so-called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for waste management – when such programs are properly designed.
EPR programs need not suffer the fate of the failed Ontario hazardous waste program, say the authors. Policymakers can make these programs work through better institutional design, such as by setting realistic waste diversion targets, increasing competition among individual and collective waste diversion systems set up by producers, ensuring balanced representation between industry, environmental groups, and the public on the boards of waste diversion programs, and providing inducements to consumers to participate in the EPR program. Failure on these criteria may lead to unnecessary costs for consumers, with perhaps little environmental benefit.
For the study go to http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_316.pdf
For more information, contact: Andrew Green, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Michael Trebilcock, Professor of Law, University of Toronto; or Ben Dachis, Policy Analyst,
C.D. Howe Institute. Phone: 416-865-1904