Does PAYT/SMART Work in Massachusetts? MassDEP Data Clearly Says Yes…

You may remember a recent blog post in which we explored how well pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) works in Maine.  Using data provided by ecomaine, we showed that towns with PAYT programs produce 44.8% less trash per person than those without PAYT programs.  Recently, we decided to take a closer look at Massachusetts.  The question we wanted to answer:  Do communities with PAYT programs (also known as Save Money and Reduce Trash, or SMART programs) produce less trash than those without…and if so, how much less?

We looked at 100 cities and towns in MA that provide curbside trash collection.  The results were clear:  Communities with PAYT/SMART programs generate less trash per capita.  In fact, they generate 33% less trash.  Here are some top-line findings, using data provided to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP):

  • Communities with PAYT / SMART generated an average of 450 pounds of trash per person in 2016.
  • Communities without PAYT/SMART generated a lot more during the same time period:  671 lbs per person.
  • 19 of the 20 best-scoring municipalities (lowest pounds of trash per person) use PAYT/SMART.

Once again, the results are very clear-cut.  The full report and rankings can be found here.

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