The crisis of solid waste disposal has only recently been addressed by government agencies, most successfully at the state and municipal levels. Although new laws cover the disposal of waste, few affect the causes or reduction of wastes. Economic incentives that underlie waste management must be examined to ultimately reduce the waste stream. Policy options that incorporate these incentives are evaluated, with the most effective policy defined as one in which efficiency gains are greater than the transaction costs of enacting a new waste policy. Such policies might include the use of taxes, tip charges, and adjustments of prices to disposal costs.

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