In our experience, properly-designed bag-based pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) systems reduce trash by 44%. That does three things:
- Helps cities and towns cut costs
- Protects the environment
- Saves taxpayers money
PAYT Works, But Not Everyone Believes It
Across America the average person produces 857 lbs. of residential trash each year. In communities that have our bag-based PAYT system, the average is 440 lbs. That’s a huge difference, and it has saved our communities more than $1.2 billion, in total, over the 27 years we’ve been in business.
Unfortunately, some of the cities and towns we talk to on a regular basis have never had direct experience with bag-based PAYT systems. And frankly, they find some of our numbers hard to believe. We sometimes experience a bit of skepticism when we say things like “average trash reduction of 44%” or “average reduction in disposal costs of 44%.” Sometimes, we’re met with raised eyebrows when we say the average household will spend less than $10 per month on PAYT trash bags.
Well, we can share numbers and statistics all day long, but nothing speaks louder than a guarantee. Over the years, WasteZero has gotten quite good at predicting exactly what will happen when a community implements a bag-based PAYT system (financial projections, trash projections, etc.). As a result, we’re usually able to offer cities and towns a guarantee. Here it is:
- 35% Minimum Waste Reduction: We can usually guarantee that a city or town will experience a waste reduction of at least 35% below an established pounds-of-trash-per-capita benchmark. If that goal is not met, then WasteZero will pay the municipality’s tip fee at an agreed rate for every ton of trash generated above the benchmark.
- < $10 per Month Average Household Spend: The average household in a WasteZero bag-based program will spend between $9 and $10 per month on official trash bags. The vast majority of that money goes to the community to pay for trash service. We can usually guarantee that the average household will spend $10 or less per month in the first year. If we’re wrong, then WasteZero will pay the City or Town $50,000.
What’s the Catch?
There is no catch, but there are a few common-sense points to remember. First, we never offer a guarantee in a careless or “willy-nilly” fashion. Before writing any guarantee for a city or town, we must conduct an analysis of the municipality’s current trash tonnages, recycling tonnages, collection protocols, and so on. The municipality must also have an agreed-upon compliance plan in place if it implements PAYT.
Also, for the $10 per Month portion of the guarantee, the City must use a standard—or near-standard—pricing structure for its PAYT program. This means that 30-gallon bags would have a retail price of $2 or less each and 15-gallon bags would have a retail price of $1.25 or less each. You can understand why we could never make a $10 per Month guarantee for a City that decides to price its bags at a high level, like $4 or $5 each!
If you are a municipal official who’s interested in learning more about how we can help your community reduce trash and save money, then please contact us. We’d be happy to conduct an analysis and see if a guarantee could apply. If you’re an interested citizen, then please let your elected officials know about the great things we’re doing. We might be able to help your community!