The town of Sanford, Maine recently implemented a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) waste management scheme where residents paid for trash removal based on how much trash they threw out. The result? The amount of trash headed to the landfill was slashed by 50 percent while the recycling rate grew by 150 percent.
Fees for trash services are usually included in a town's property taxes, so people don't ever really think of the cost associated with their garbage. With the PAYT scheme, each week, residents were confronted with the financial, and hopefully environmental, cost of their waste, leading to less headed to landfills and more headed to recycling centers.
The town found that through this approach, residents will actually save money. The 50 percent reduction in trash tonnage will mean a 50 percent savings in tipping fees the town pays to unload trash at the Maine Energy Recovery Company. That savings -- about $250,000 over a year -- will be passed on to tax payers.
Knowing the positive impact it would have, I'd be happy to participate in a PAYT scheme in my town. What about you?
written by Jeremy Abramowitz, August 20, 2010
written by Toni, August 27, 2010
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