New Pay-As-You-Throw Program Pays Off for Wells, ME
Raleigh, NC - November 26, 2012 - This summer marked the
one-year anniversary of Wells' successful pay-as-you-throw (PAYT)
solid waste reduction program. Since the town converted its
inefficient and cumbersome program to the new pre-paid PAYT plastic
bag program on July 1, 2011, the results have been significant.
Prior to then, the town employed a generic trash bag program
that was difficult to administer and required residents to pay cash
at the transfer station for each bag deposited.
In the first 12 months of the program, according to Town Manager
Jonathan Carter, Wells residents have reduced their solid waste
34%-from 1,926 tons in the preceding year to 1,278 tons in
2012. Moreover, recycling efforts have risen sharply from 355
tons in 2011 to 488 tons in 2012, a 37% increase. As a
result, the town's solid waste disposal costs (the price Wells pays
to dispose of its trash at the MERC incinerator in Biddeford) have
dropped almost $9,000 during this period. In addition to the new
PAYT program, commercial trash haulers were no longer allowed to
dispose of their trash at the transfer station which also
contributed to the reduction in solid waste.
"The new PAYT program has brought long overdue efficiencies to
our waste management efforts and the operation of the transfer
station," said Carter. "We've decreased our solid waste,
dramatically increased recycling, and eliminated the burdensome and
outdated cash transactions at the transfer station."
Carter went on to explain that, in addition to these benefits,
the revenue generated from the plastic bag fees and the sale of the
town's recyclable materials are applied toward funding the transfer
station operations. By 2015, he anticipates that the transfer
station will be self-sufficient, no longer dependent on tax revenue
for its operation.
"In addition to the important economic and environmental
benefits of the PAYT program, there have been other gains and
efficiencies that have benefited Wells," added Town Treasurer Leo
Ouellette. "We've reduced personnel at the transfer station and
have made it far more efficient and convenient for residents to
dispose of their trash using the official town plastic bags that
are available for purchase at seven local retail outlets."
The orange trash bags imprinted with the Wells town seal are
available in three sizes: 15 gallons ($1.50), 33 gallons ($2.00),
and 45 gallons ($4.00) at the following locations:
- Aubuchon Hardware
- Clipper Mart
- Cumberland Farms
- Hannaford Supermarket
- Rite Aid
- Wells Super Food Market
- Wells Town Hall
The bags are made available at these retailer locations through
WasteZero, the town's PAYT provider, and its Retail Store
"The Wells conversion to the WasteZero Trash Metering™ program
(or next-generation PAYT) has further increased the Town's
recycling efforts, reduced solid waste, and generated savings and
revenue that weren't possible under the old system," said Mark
Dancy, President of WasteZero. "The results are impressive."
WasteZero, the leading provider of the most effective waste
reduction programs in the US, partners with approximately 800
municipalities to reduce waste landfilled and burned, increase
recycling, and generate savings. Our WasteZero Trash Metering™
programs and Pay-As-You-Throw conversion programs reduce solid
waste 44% annually on average.
WasteZero uses leading edge technology to manufacture all of our
programs' supplies, including customized plastic trash bags. Our
Retail Store Distribution Program™ offers trash bag warehousing,
inventory management, accounting, and more. WasteZero has offices
in Cambridge, MA, Raleigh, NC, Murrells Inlet, SC, and Chicago,
For more information about WasteZero, please visit www.wastezero.com.