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Greening the Budget

Budgetary Policies for Environmental Improvement

Edited by J. Peter Clinch, Kai Schlegelmilch, Rolf-Ulrich Sprenger and Ursula Triebswetter

Greening the Budget regards the fundamental cause of environmental degradation as government and market failure and proposes the use of budgets as an instrument of environmental policy to rectify this problem. The book focuses on the elements of the public budget which currently affect the environment and explores the scope for greening both revenue and expenditure through specific measures.
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Chapter 9: Italian waste management: comparing revenues from a general tax with a quantity-related fee

Budgetary Policies for Environmental Improvement

Luciano Messori


1 Luciano Messori INTRODUCTION The Italian solid waste management is currently facing a revolution. Its financial management is changing. Before 1999, people and businesses used to pay a waste management tax related to the local cost of waste management, but unrelated to the amount of garbage they produced. The Decree of the President of the Republic (DPR) 158/1999 has put in place the final brick of a new legislative building aimed at substituting a ‘pay as you throw’ fee for the old waste management tax. The amount to be paid by each household or business is supposed to be related to the amount of garbage produced and total revenues from the new fee are established to fully cover the cost of waste management. The implementation of the new system is raising both technical and political issues. The former relate to the best format the fee should have,2 while the latter relate to the reaction of the involved actors. The aim of this chapter is to highlight the political issues associated with this change from a garbage tax to a waste management fee, and to show how a fee related to the amount of waste produced can put pressure for waste reduction on the whole production chain. According to the ‘ladder principle’,3 the EU waste policy objectives include the reduction of the quantity of waste produced, the reuse of goods, and the recycling of materials. In the last few years, several governments of countries belonging to the EU have...

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