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Pay-As-You-Throw

July 10, 2009

If you read the Journal Star this morning, you’ll see that the City of Peoria may move to a pay-as-you-throw waste model. Several statements are listed below supporting this model. I urge you to post any questions or concerns you have about this program as a comment and we will address them via this website. More information will be coming soon, so sign up for emails when we post new messages to stay in the loop.

You can also check out this presentation that was done for a another city, but it explains the process, pros and cons in a simple way.

There are over 7,000 communities nationwide using PAYT ranging from those with populations in the millions to just a few hundred and everything in between. There are 170 PAYT communities in Illinois.

  • “PAYT is fairer than tax-based systems – and after implementation more than 95-98% of households prefer the new system.” (Source)
  • “PAYT reduces residential trash disposal by one-sixth (about 17%). Analysis shows about one-third (6%) shows up as increased recycling, about one-third (5%) as increased composting, and one-third (6%) is “source reduced” or avoided generation (buying in bulk, etc.)”( Source)
  • “Given the resources available, the unwavering support for the program among state and local staff and elected officials, the available advice for overcoming common challenges and myths, and the success in addressing the same common solid waste challenges faced by everyone involved with MSW management, communities would be hard-pressed to find a reason for not implementing PAYT. ‘Few ideas jump out as something that makes eminent sense. To me, the pay-as-you-throw concept is one of those…The overwhelming logic of the idea should be…a no-brainer,’ wrote Allan Gerlat, editor of Waste News, in 2004.”( Source)“PAYT is not a feel-green kind of thing here; it’s a financial thing,” explains Tom Miragliuolo, a planner with the Maine State Planning Office.  (Source)
  • PAYT encourages not only recycling, but also composting, source reduction, reuse, and the host of responsible methods of dealing with waste. (Source)
  • “Ultimately, it is anticipated that using PAYT to reduce the burden on the disposal system will lead to more efficient use of services, reduced burden on the disposal system, improved environmental and resource use, and lower long-run solid waste system management costs.” (Source)

There are lots of publicly available success stories and reports including the following (more will be posted to this site soon)

  • Gainesville, FL (pop. 95,500), saved $200,000 in landfill tipping fees after implementing PAYT in 1994, reduced solid waste collection by 18%, and increased its recycling rate by about 25%.  (Source)
  • Wilmington, NC (pop. 75,800), saved $400,000 in the first year of PAYT (1992). (Source)
  • Worcester, MA (pop. 172,600), decreased its waste management costs by $1.2 million and increased its recycling rate from 3% to 36% immediately following the introduction of PAYT in 1993. (Source)
  • The recycling rate in San Jose, CA (pop. 895,000), rose from 28% to 43% in the first year of its program (1993), and rose again to 55% by 1998. (Source)
  • In Tacoma, WA (pop. 194,000), solid waste management costs fell by more than 50% in the PAYT program’s first year, and the recycling rate tripled. (Source)
  • Falmouth, ME (pop. 4,100), decreased its trash disposal volume by 35% and increased recycling by more than 50% after establishing PAYT in 1992. (Source)
  • In Mount Vernon, IA (pop. 3,400), PAYT helped the community reach a 50% recycling rate. (Source)
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. kassykilley permalink*
    July 10, 2009 9:22 PM

    Gwynn, currently this is just applicable to people who get garbage service through the City of Peoria. It sounds like you would NOT be affected by these discussions BUT you would really benefit from a pay as you throw model, like the one being proposed by Councilmen Turner and Montelongo. They want to give all Peoria residents free garbage, remove the $6 fee on the water bill for garbage and then have people just pay based on the amount of garbage they have.

    I would try calling your waste hauler and Peoria County to see about options.

    I also think recycling is still a win. There are many benefits to recycling (see the post from yesterday for a few examples). So I hope you will recycle anyway. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  2. March 28, 2010 10:20 PM

    I’ve been looking for this exact information on this subject for a long time.  Bookmarked and recommended!

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