Pay as You Throw

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Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) is a fee based garbage management program designed to encourage recycling and landfill diversion by proportionally charging users for the amount of trash they generate.  In the case of Fall River, MA, citizens can only dispose of their trash using official purple trash bags they purchase at local stores; $2.00 for the large, $1.25 for the medium and $0.75 for the small. On trash day, even when the bag is only partially filled, a homeowner is motivated to throw that bag out if there is food in it rather than endure the nuisance of rotting food for another week. But if the putrescible waste is eliminated, by using a food waste disposer for instance, the user can make that bag last a little longer.

On the other side of the country, Tacoma’s method of trash disposal is different but the incentive is the same. Residents can get a 90-gallon roller cart for $57.90/month, a 60-gallon cart for $38.59/month, a 45-gallon cart for $28.95/month, and a 30-gallon cart for $19.30/month. This means residents can save over $100 a year by dropping down from a 45-gallon cart to a 30-gallon one, and over $230 a year for dropping down to a 60-gallon cart from a 90-gallon one.

Regular readers of this blog understand that a wastewater treatment plant is capable of managing what goes through a disposer.  A disposer doesn’t use a lot of water or electricity and it won’t clog sewers or overload the treatment plant.  But it also helps households in PAYT communities reduce their garbage bill.  Not bad for an appliance that’s been around for over 75 years.

Fall River, MA Zero Waste

City of Tacoma Trash Rates


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