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Keeping a Tab on the Recyclable Trash

Save As You Reduce and Recycle

Here is a fact that might shock some of us. An average American throws away 4.5 pounds of trash everyday – 70% (yes, Seventy Percent) of those are recyclable.

Why this data should worry us? 

Each time our city or town sends a truck down our street to pick up our waste, it costs money. It costs money even if we drop our trash off at a local dump. Ultimately, we pay for this service, usually through our local taxes. And it’s not likely that we have much control over the amount we pay, regardless of how much garbage we create.

There is a different system, however, under which residents are asked to pay for waste collection directly-based on the amount of garbage they actually generate. They’re called “pay-as-you-throw” (PAYT) programs, and nearly 6,000 communities across the country have begun using them.

Here is what EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency) says about PAYT program..

PAYT is a different way of paying for waste collection and disposal services. In some communities, it works on a per-container basis: households are charged for each bag or can of waste they generate. A few communities bill residents based on the weight of their trash. Either way, the system motivates people to recycle more and to think about ways to generate less waste in the first place.

 For community residents, however, the most important advantage may be the fairness and greater control over costs that it offers. Do you have neighbors that never seem to recycle and always leave out six or seven bags of trash? While you may not have thought about it, right now you’re helping them pay for that waste. Under PAYT, everyone pays only for what they generate-so you won’t have to subsidize your neighbor’s wastefulness any more. It’s only fair. With PAYT, when you recycle and prevent waste, you’re rewarded with a lower trash bill.

Our City currently does not have any such program. However, do you think we should consider such program? Here is more to know about the program and its potential disadvantages.

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