At 11-Year Anniversary, Natick, Mass., Pay-as-You-Throw Program Sees Less Solid Waste, More Recycling, and More Than $3 Million Saved
Director, Public Engagement
North Andover, MA – Dec. 5, 2014 – At the 11-year anniversary of its pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste reduction and recycling program, the town of Natick, Mass., has reduced its solid waste by 40%, dramatically increased its recycling rate, and saved $3.1 million in disposal fees, according to new figures released by the town’s Department of Public Works.
The program began on July 1, 2003. Municipal solid waste (MSW) has decreased 40% since the program began—from 9,800 tons in Fiscal Year 2003 (the year before PAYT) to 5,923 tons in FY2014.
Natick’s recycling rate has increased dramatically with PAYT, from 23% in the year before the program began to 38% last year.
The changes have had a profound impact on Natick’s municipal finances. The town has saved an estimated $3.1 million in disposal fees across the 11 years that PAYT has been in place. “The savings from pay-as-you-throw have helped the town stabilize operating costs and avoid cutting services,” Deputy Town Administrator – Operations Bill Chenard said.
There have also been meaningful environmental benefits to Natick’s PAYT program. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), the amount of garbage that Natick has diverted from the waste-to-energy facility since 2004 has reduced greenhouse gases by an amount equal to the emissions from 13,000 cars during that period. In addition, the added recycling across the 11 years has saved the same amount of energy that would have been used to fully power 4,900 houses over that period.
About Natick’s PAYT Program
Under the program, residents use official blue bags stamped with the Natick-specific information for weekly curbside collection. Being more aware of the cost of their garbage makes residents more likely to recycle and divert other productive materials from the waste stream.
The blue bags are available at retail outlets in and around Natick. They are available in two sizes—15-gallon ($10.00 per 10-bag roll) and 33-gallon ($17.50 per 10-bag roll). The town’s bi-weekly single-stream recycling collection is free.
WasteZero, the leading provider of municipal solid waste reduction programs in the U.S., is on a mission to cut residential trash in half across the nation. WasteZero partners with hundreds of municipalities throughout the U.S. to reduce the amount of waste landfilled and burned, increase recycling, and generate savings. The company helps municipalities design, launch, and manage next-generation pay-as-you-throw systems, in which people pay by the bag for their solid waste services. These programs increase individuals’ awareness of the cost of their trash, reducing solid waste by an average of 44% and doubling or sometimes tripling recycling. In most cases, WasteZero is able to guarantee its municipal customers that its programs will meet or exceed specific waste reduction targets.
WasteZero manufactures the customized specialty plastic trash bags for its programs and other customers in the U.S. from recycled content. It is committed to creating U.S. jobs and to solving the nation’s solid waste crisis. A certified B Corporation, WasteZero is a national organization with key management offices in Raleigh, N.C., and the Boston area, and a manufacturing facility in Hemingway, S.C.
For more information, visit www.wastezero.com.