How Virginia can raise new funds, to cover some costs of soon-to-arrive “Save the Bay” mandates

Virginia imports more trash from outside its boundaries than any state except Pennsylvania.  We are literally the dumping ground for New York City garbage, as well as trash from Maryland and DC.  In addition, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission reports that Virginians produce more municipal solid waste per capita than the national average.

Wanna cut down on waste?  Let’s use the Business 101 approach – provide a financial incentive to reduce, reuse, recycle.  Add a “surcharge” to the fee for dumping trash in any Virginia landfill in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Finally complying with the Federal Clean Water Act requirements, to stop polluting the Chesapeake Bay, will not be cheap.  We’ll need new $$$.  Let’s dedicate the new funding from a solid waste disposal surcharge to projects that will Save the Bay.

Worried that the extra cost might be a burden?  If we add a small burden to those who live out-of-state, and they quit sending garbage to Virginia… that’s a solution, not a problem.

State agencies are talking about a $1-$8/ton surcharge.  The politicians came close to adopting one in 1999, and again in 2002.

If a household sends a whole ton of waste to a landfill, and decides that it’s too expensive to pay more, then that household has the option to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Cut down on waste, rather than pay the extra surcharge.  That’s a solution, not a problem.

Worried about competition from landfills in neighboring states?  Almost all of them already impose a surcharge:

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