Jan 7

Dartmouth, Mass., Pay-As-You-Throw Program Cuts Solid Waste by 59%, Boosts Recycling by 50% at Six-Year Mark

Joshua Kolling-Perin
Director, Public Engagement

Raleigh, NC – Jan. 7, 2014 – The pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste reduction and recycling program in Dartmouth, Mass.-which marked six years of operations in October-has reduced solid waste by 59% and increased recycling volume by 50%, according to figures released by the town.

The program, managed by WasteZero, began in October 2007. In fiscal year 2007, the first full year before the program began, Dartmouth residents sent 10,742 tons of garbage to the town’s Crapo Hill Landfill. In fiscal year 2013, that figure dropped to 4,370 tons-a 59% decrease. Curbside recycling volume saw a corresponding increase, from 1,626 tons in FY 2007 to 2,432 tons in FY 2013-a 50% jump.


Dartmouth’s PAYT program serves more than 10,000 households with weekly curbside solid waste and recycling pickup; the town also runs a transfer station that is open three days per week. In the program, residents dispose of their garbage in orange plastic trash bags imprinted with the town seal that they purchase from retail stores in and around Dartmouth. Paying for each bag of trash they throw away gives residents the incentive to create less waste and recycle more, which reduces disposal costs and generates new revenue. Bags are priced at $1 for 14-gallon bags and $2 for 33-gallon bags, pricing that has remained constant since the program’s inception. The town reduced the base solid waste fee from $95 to $80.

Dartmouth Public Works Director David Hickox said, “Since the inception of the program, the town has reduced waste, manpower, and operating costs, which has been beneficial for the town both environmentally and financially.”

WasteZero President Mark Dancy added, “On the South Coast and throughout Massachusetts, Dartmouth’s success in reducing waste stands as a shining example of what towns and cities can do when they move to pay-as-you-throw. We’re looking forward to many more successful years in the future.”

About WasteZero

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.