Photo: Flickr/Dano
Photo: Flickr/Dano

New programs and long-term success stories

Worcester, Mass., celebrated the 20th anniversary of its pay-as-you-throw program late last year. To date, the community — the second-largest city in New England, with nearly 183,000 residents — has cut its residential trash by more than half and increased residential recycling 10-fold.

The city has also saved more than $10 million dollars in waste disposal costs, according to Robert Fiore, assistant to the Public Works Commissioner.

Likewise, the city of Dartmouth, Mass., whose program is in its sixth year, has reduced solid waste by 59 percent and increased recycling volume by 50 percent since establishing PAYT.

In more recent news, two communities in Maine established programs late last year and are already reaping the benefits.

After its first four months of operation, the new pay-to-throw waste reduction and recycling program in Eliot, Maine has reduced solid waste by 57 percent and saved more than $8,500, according to figures released by the town.

A three-month-old program in Sanford, Maine has also reduced solid waste by 41 percent and almost doubled the city’s recycling rate.

Fore more up-to-the-minute updates on PAYT programs across the country, and to get a few tips about establishing a similar program near you, visit WasteZero online.

Bet You’ll Love: Why People Don’t Recycle

By Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.