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Six Great Months of Pay-as-You-Throw in Wellfleet, Mass.

The numbers are in for the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Mass., which has just marked six months of pay-as-you-throw—and they’re great. In just a half a year with PAYT, Wellfleet has cut its residential waste tonnage by 40%. Between December 2013, when the program began, and May 2014, Wellfleetians threw away 309 tons of trash—a…

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Pay-as-You-Throw Is Coming to Fall River, Mass.

Fall River, Mass., is now set to implement the pay-as-you-throw program proposed by Mayor Will Flanagan. The program will kick off on Aug. 4. Fall River, a diverse city of almost 90,000 in southeastern Massachusetts, had been facing a dramatic budget shortfall, with millions of dollars in lost revenue due to the closure of their landfill, expiration…

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Pay-as-You-Throw and Popular Opinion: A Winning Combination

We’ve known for a long time that people like pay-as-you-throw. How could we not? We’ve been at this for a long time—more than twenty years—and we’ve worked with hundreds of cities and towns. And along the way we’ve had the opportunity to talk with lots of people, to learn about what drives them and what…

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Momentum in Maine

What can we say? Pay-as-you-throw is hot in Maine these days. In just one week, two communities have voted in a program—first it was the city of Waterville (you can read more about that here), and now it’s the town of Etna, whose town meeting voted in favor of pay-as-you-throw on Wednesday. Etna is paying…

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What It Means to Be “Best for the Environment”

Last week, on Earth Day, WasteZero was named to the 2014 B Corp “Best for the Environment” list. That’s an exciting honor, for sure—it only goes to the companies with an “environmental impact score” in the top 10% of all certified B Corps (already a high-performing bunch). In fact, WasteZero scored 43 for environmental impact,…

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Trash Is America’s $384 Billion Problem

We’re all familiar with the environmental costs of throwing away as much garbage as Americans do (165 million tons in 2012): greenhouse gas emissions and risks to soil, air, and water quality. But what about the financial costs of all this waste? Every year, solid waste costs the U.S. economy $384 billion. Let’s break that…

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4 Surprising Facts That Will Make You Want to Recycle Your Textiles

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, just 15.8% of all textiles–fleece, flannel, corduroy, cotton, nylon, denim, wool, and linen–were recovered in 2012. That’s a number that’s easy to boost, once you know how important–and how easy–it is to recycle textiles. 1. It takes almost a third of a pound of pesticides–and 400 gallons of…

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Ask the Voters

We’ll always be happy to tell you stories about how people who live in pay-as-you-throw communities like PAYT, find it easy to handle, and appreciate its fairness. (Heck, we’ve even been known to blog about it.) Those stories are great, and they do carry a lot of weight. But sometimes you just need to look at…

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Plymouth (Still) Rocks

When we last checked in on our friends in the town of Plymouth, Mass., in October, they were marking three months of pay-as-you-throw with some really powerful results: 39% waste reduction and $36,000 saved. By any measure, that’s a performance to be proud of. But we said at the time, “If Plymouth is anything like…

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Solid Waste and Smart Cities

It’s true: the buzzwords that come with talk of “smart cities”–smart economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and governance–don’t include the word “trash.” It’s also true that solid waste management has not had a prominent place in conversations about how to build a smart city. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t. In fact, you could…

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