Two drivers of waste management
With the last principle, do you mean that recycling is not worthwhile without quotas?
No, there are two drivers in the waste industry: environmental protection and the value of raw materials. The latter is regulated by the market price. Nobody needs a recycling quota for gold waste. The same is also true of scrap. A quota is always required wherever recycling doesn’t happen despite demand in the market
and therefore a minimum standard needs to be prescribed. This means that 65 % of municipal waste must be recycled in the future. If this standard is not applied, then it will not happen. With most waste – and this is a really sad fact – the value of raw materials doesn’t cover the entire costs that are required upstream and downstream of the waste treatment process. Collection, sorting, and recycling are beneficial, but economically speaking they often don’t cover the costs involved. However, we need to do it because the environmental benefit to society is very high and therefore essential. It is difficult to monetize. This is why we need regulations such as taxes, specifications, quotas, and deposit systems. But on its own, this wouldn’t work.