ABSTRACT

When writing about any economic policy, it is fashionable to claim that it isall wrong. U.S. waste policy is clearly not all wrong. Waste of all kinds cancreate hidden, long-lived external costs if it is not handled carefully, and recent U.S. policy has forced the more careful handling of waste. The changes in policy during the past half-century were overdue and in the right direction. The questions about waste policy are twofold. First, have our policies created properly functioning waste markets? Second, have these policies achieved their results at the lowest possible social cost? We have seen, time and again in the preceding chapters, that the answers to these two questions are too often no and no.