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A Maine Town Cuts Trash Going to Landfills by 50%

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 follow link viagra uk trash headed to the landfill was slashed by 50 percent while the viagra prescription drug 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?

via Treehugger

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Comments (15)Add Comment
written by Russell, August 19, 2010
I think it's funny that this is considered so progressive. I used to live in a small rural town where we had to walk to city hall to buy our trash bags to put out on the curb.
written by Scott Z, August 19, 2010
I imagine this was some time ago Russell.

I wish this was done everywhere. Recycling is very easy where I live (no sorting) yet over half my neighbors don't. Trash is collected twice a week and recycling once. I wish it were the other way around. I recycle almost twice what I place in the trash.
rural impact:
written by scott, August 19, 2010
I know around me, this would just lead to more illegal dumping out in the woods.
More dumping or using other's cans?
written by Tim, August 19, 2010
I can't help but think for a few people, if this ever got to where to buy cialis online idaho the point of individual's having to pay for it, would start dumping it "somewhere else" instead of their own cans. We already have a problem with residences nearby putting their overstock into my homeowner's association cans...

Hope it works out and glad it seems like it's being tested first.
what about residual waste?
written by Jeremy Abramowitz, August 20, 2010
It's great to see communities increasing recycling rates and thereby conserving material resources, but PAYT does not address the question of what is to be done with residual, non-recyclable waste. The only way to virtually eliminate landfilling is lowest price generic cialis canada by doing what much of Europe has done: using the trash that remains afterward as an energy source to displace fossil fuels. Many communities in Maine and elsewhere in the northeastern U.S. are already served well by waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, such as the Ecomaine plant jointly owned by 21 municipalities in soutern Maine (, while simultaneously demonstrating a commitment to recycling. The technology for using trash as a clean energy source has immeasurably improved since the early incinerators of viagra the 20th century, yet many environmentalists still cling to recommended site soft gel viagra outdated perceptions and hold back progress in the area of sound disposal needed alongside waste reduction and recycling measures.

And, it's also important to increase the buy tramadol fed ex emphasis on producers' and retailers' responsibility for cutting back on wasteful products and packaging and taking back used materials for proper management. The burden of paying for proper waste should not fall exclusively on the backs of consumers while commercial enterprises continue to profit from unsustainable practices.
From A Sanford Resident
written by Anonymous, August 20, 2010
Welcome to Sanford. Not only do we get to pay for trash pick up as part of our taxes but now we have an additional tax as we pay for the bags to throw away our trash. Don't think for a minute the tax payers are reaping any benefits of the PAYT system. The town loves to proclaim how much recycling has increased as a result of PAYT. Truth of buy levitra uk the matter is prior to PAYT our recycling was only picked up twice per month. Under the new system it is now picked up every week. Don't you think recycling would have increased on it's own with a weekly pickup? I personally recycle a 32 gallon container per week. I certainly do not have room or a desire to the best site best quality cialis store 64 gallons while waiting for my bi-weekly pickup. PAYT is a tax. It is not the reason for increased recycling, it is a method to fund a town government that is wasting our tax money.
waste management
written by doh, August 20, 2010
The population of maine is approx. 20000 and they would have to each pay around $10/year to equal the "big ass" savings. I think waste management should be done on site and not at the curb. Residents could pay $50/year and get some employment/equipment on the site to separate the waste; not just into 2 categories: waste and recycle. In this way the viagra india town can better understanding what's filling in their site which may lead to stopping whatever from coming in, in the first place...or getting the companies/manufactures to take back their packages. And if you map know where you buried certain materials, they may be of worth in the future.
Trust People
written by johnny, August 20, 2010
I find it hard to believe that instituting a pay per bag policy will turn a community into a town of criminals. Most people are good, don't you think, and they want what's right for their community. They want a clean and healthy environment, and they're not going to buy cheap levitra online start dumping their trash in the back woods just to save a couple of bucks on a garbage bag. But I was curious, just the same, and the research I found supports this. Dumping and other illegal activity is rarely an issue when a town goes PAYT. You can look it up yourself. Thanks.
written by Ivy, August 20, 2010
When Hancock, Maine, instituted a modified PAYT a few years ago (one bag a week is free, after that you have to go to pay $1 per bag), we worried about illegal dumping. It hasn't happened. The fee is so low we also thought it might not have an effect, but if our own household is any indication, it made us more conscientious about recycling and generic cialis no perscription composting, and avoiding buying stuff with excess packaging we can't recycle.
written by Brian, August 21, 2010
I live a couple of town over from Sanford. It's a pretty economically depressed, former mill town, typical for Maine. Unfortunately, the littering problem has also increased in the surrounding area after the PAYT program went into effect.
written by Chris, August 25, 2010
I think this is a great idea, I wish more communities would roll it out.. I also think, having grown up in Michigan where bottle and can deposits are $.10 each, more states should follow suit. We so absolutely NO cans or bottles on prescriptions cheap tramadol online roadsides or wooded areas. Sure it stings a bit to pay $.60 more per six pack, but everyone gets used to it. And it's like a mini windfall when you take your returnables back for cash.
written by Steve, August 25, 2010
I have been paying by the amount of garbage for 10 years. And I have only been paying my own garbage bill for that time, so I would guess we have had this in place for MUCH longer. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and all of the waste management companies in this area charge you based on what size garbage can you need. Recycling, compost, and yard waste are all unlimited. In fact in San Francisco, you get an additional discount on your garbage bill if you recycle enough to get your landfill waste down to less than a 20 gallon container a week.

Sad that this is news.
I think that this is useless in my country.
written by mark, August 26, 2010
I think that this wont work here in my country. Most Filipinos don't even have money to buy them some food. The real issue here is discipline. If most people were disciplined enough to segregate their waste and throw their trash responsibly, i think that the world would be a better place to live in.
written by Toni, August 27, 2010
When will the buy cheap generic viagra packaging companies make products with less packaging or ones that use less toxic materials? In the 1960's in Florida a truck came by every other month and filled up the container on the side of our house with laundry detergent. With all the choices and all the products available people buy more and more. Clean your house with simple green and vinegar and viagra super ed trial pack water. Use one soap for everything. There are ways to buy less and produce less waste.
Good start
written by Rojelio, September 05, 2010
That's a great idea. However, one thing I've noticed in trying to reduce my trash by composting and buying less is that even the most minimal purchases are massively overpackaged. It's still easy to purchase very little but still sit there with massive amounts of cardboard and styrofoam waste. Another boost would be gained by mandating that companies reduce their packaging. The point about illegal dumping is a good one also. We see that alot in our western Montana community even though our trash collection fees are very cheap.

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