New Tax Will Crowd-Out Private Recycling Companies

The Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association (PWIA) is making a case against HB 1069, a bill to enable Pennsylvania counties to enact a $4 tax on every ton of municipal waste. Currently, every taxpayer pays a state tax of $2 per ton to subsidize government-operated recycling programs. The current tax is estimated to collect $41 million this year.

According to the PWIA, private recycling companies in Mercer and Crawford counties have reduced costs by up to 65 percent. In 1988 and 2002, the state legislature stated that the goal is for recycling to become “financially self-sufficient.†The private sector has made the industry not only self-sufficient but profitable. Enacting a new tax contradicts the goal of sustainability by preventing more efficient private companies from fairly competing with taxpayer subsidized public recycling programs.

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