Yearly Archives: 2015

The Value of Waste Reduction, or, What the New York Times Got Wrong About Recycling

If you care about solid waste reduction, by now you’ve probably read John Tierney’s New York Times opinion piece denigrating the value of recycling. It’s a long piece, but in a nutshell, Tierney’s two-fold argument is this: There’s no point in recycling unless it makes economic sense—and it doesn’t make economic sense. He’s missing the…

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Award-Winning Pay-as-You-Throw Programs

The primary benefits of pay-as-you-throw are clear: cutting trash in half, boosting recycling, saving money, and helping the environment. Of course, it never hurts to also win an award. That’s just what happened recently for three WasteZero pay-as-you-throw partner communities. At its annual “Trash Bash,” the South Shore Recycling Cooperative in Massachusetts gave its “Municipal Trash Basher”…

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With Pay-as-You-Throw, Good Policy Is Good Politics

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: pay-as-you-throw isn’t just good policy; it’s also good politics. That’s been true for a while, and the news yesterday out of Waterville, Maine, is just more evidence for it. In a city-wide referendum, Waterville residents voted by an overwhelming two-to-one margin to continue PAYT. It’s not hard to see why. Pay-as-you-throw…

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B Corps and Best for the Environment

Being a certified B Corp means a lot to us at WasteZero, so we’re especially pleased that for the second year running, we’ve been named to the nonprofit B Lab’s “Best for the Environment” list–an honor reserved for just 116 companies in the top 10% of certified B Corps for environmental impact. WasteZero’s environmental score of 43 puts…

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How to Talk About Pay-as-You-Throw

Pay-as-you-throw works: that much we know. With an average waste reduction of 44%, and dramatic financial and environmental benefits, there’s really no question that PAYT is wise public policy. But the politics of pay-as-you-throw can be trickier. People naturally resist many kinds of change, and changing a system as personal as trash can feel especially troubling. What’s more,…

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The Financial Power of Pay-as-You-Throw

We’re all used to hearing the knock on waste reduction initiatives: if they’re effective, they’re expensive–and if they don’t cost very much, they don’t do very much. Right? Wrong. One of the most impressive things about the pay-as-you-throw model is that it breaks that paradigm, simultaneously bringing cities and towns profound waste reduction while also making a…

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Pay-as-You-Throw, and Don’t Look Back

It’s Town Meeting Season in New England, when people fill up high school gyms and libraries to vote on things like town budgets, school funding, road repairs… and, sometimes, pay-as-you-throw. Most years, people in at least a few towns in the region find a way to get PAYT on the ballot. That’s what happened in Hopkinton, N.H.,…

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