Monday, June 8, 2015

What is a PAYT Program?

According to, Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) programs encourage waste reduction through recycling by charging residents based on the amount of trash they throw away.

Trash services are traditionally charged as a flat rate based on whatever service level they choose, no matter how much they throw away. PAYT programs ultimately charge customers just as if it were any other usage-based service. Under these programs, fees are usually charged by the bag or trash can they use. Some PAYT programs, however, charge residents based on the actual weight of a trash by using trucks equipped with on-board scales.

“EPA supports this new approach to solid waste management because it encompasses three interrelated components that are key to successful community programs:

Environmental Sustainability - Communities with programs in place have reported significant increases in recycling and reductions in waste, due primarily to the waste reduction incentive created by PAYT. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources need to be extracted. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, use, and subsequent disposal of products are reduced as a result of the increased recycling and waste reduction PAYT encourages. In this way, PAYT helps slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere which leads to global climate change.

Economic Sustainability - PAYT is an effective tool for communities struggling to cope with soaring municipal solid waste management expenses. Well-designed programs generate the revenues communities need to cover their solid waste costs, including the costs of such complementary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too, because they have the opportunity to take control of their trash bills.

Equity - One of the most important advantages of a variable-rate program may be its inherent fairness. When the cost of managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under PAYT, residents pay only for what they throw away.

All in all, the economic, environmental, and equitable advantages of PAYT programs speak for themselves in making progressive strides toward sustainability.

For more information on waste and recycling options visit

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