Oct 24

Grafton Hits Record Recycling and Waste Reduction with Pay-As-You-Throw

Raleigh, NC – October 24, 2012 – This summer marked the third-year anniversary of Grafton’s pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) solid waste reduction program. On July 1, 2009, the town converted its residential solid waste program to the new PAYT program and the results have been dramatic.  In the past three years, according to Assistant Town Administrator Kevin Mizikar, Grafton residents have reduced their solid waste from 5169 tons in 2009 to 3041 tons in 2012, a 41% reduction.

Additionally, recycling efforts have skyrocketed, nearly doubling from 888 tons in 2009 to 1744 tons in 2012, a 96% increase.  During this period, the town’s solid waste disposal costs have dropped more than $135,000 annually, topping out at $136,742 for the past fiscal year ending July 1, 2012.  Assistant Town Administrator Mizikar presented the PAYT program results to the Board of Selectman at the October 23 Board meeting.

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“From the beginning, the residents of Grafton have supported the program and the results have exceeded our expectations,” said Town Administrator, Tim McInerney.  “Recycling has increased dramatically, we’ve reduced our solid waste, and we’ve saved more than $135,000 in waste disposal costs in each of the last three years which has allowed us to help offset cost increases of other critical services.”  A primary impetus behind the PAYT program was to increase recycling and reduce solid waste to offset anticipated cost increases in other municipal services.

Before the program, in fiscal year 2009, the Town spent $357,178 to dispose of its trash.  After the program, in fiscal year 2012, the town spent $220,436-more than $135,000 less, despite modest increases in tipping fees (the price per ton the town pays to dispose of trash at the Wheelabrator waste-to-energy facility in Millbury).

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“The decision to switch from the traditional 18-gallon recycling bins to the new 36-gallon and 96-gallon toters in June 2011 has paid off in dividends, further  reducing our solid waste and increasing our recycling by almost 15% over 2011,” said Mizikar.

Another significant motivator (besides the obvious economic and environmental benefits) that convinced town officials to adopt the PAYT program was, according to McInerney, its inherent fairness.  Residents no longer subsidize their neighbor’s trash collection and pay only for the trash that they generate.

“The success of the Grafton program is proof positive that WasteZero’s Trash Metering (or next-generation PAYT) is the single-most effective way a community can reduce its solid waste, increase recycling, and generate savings and revenue,” said Mark Dancy, President of WasteZero, the Town’s program provider.  “The results are indicative of what we see in other cities and towns where residents support the program as enthusiastically as the town of Grafton has.”

About WasteZero

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, IL. For more information about WasteZero, please visit www.wastezero.com.