- Charlotte, NC is eyeing a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ (PAYT) scheme for its residential waste collection.
- The city decided to evaluate the service after the Solid Waste Services department attended a PAYT presentation. Officials note that the process provides a more accurate reflection of the volume of waste each household generates.
- PAYT ostensibly encourages the community to recycle more, and theoretically reduces the amount of trash that enters the city’s landfill. The city will study the process before moving forward with a final plan.
The company behind the PAYT presentation, Waste Zero, provides services to 800 cities across the country. A company spokesperson said the program would give residents an incentive to recycle. Furthermore, Waste Zero says that implementing the use of special bags that residents pay for has also cut back on the volume of trash generated by households.
One of the towns that uses Zero Waste’s PAYT services, Worcester, MA, has saved between $10 and $20 million since it implemented the program twenty years ago. Case studies of the community indicate the volume of trash generated by the town has plummeted, while the recycling rate is at 43% --13% above the state average. PAYT programs generally increase recycling rates and lead to an almost immediate drop in the amount of trash generated.
Members of the Raleigh City Council in North Carolina are also considering PAYT for Raleigh, since it has the potential to generate profits for the town. Raleigh pays $33 per ton entering its landfill; under the PAYT program, every ton recycled could yield $30 per ton in savings for the city.