Jul 27

Hanson, Mass., Cuts Trash by 64% and Saves $51,000 in First Year of Pay-as-You-Throw

Joshua Kolling-Perin
Director, Public Engagement

North Andover, Mass. – July 27, 2015 – At the one-year anniversary of its pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste reduction and recycling program, the town of Hanson, Mass., has reduced its solid waste by 64%, more than doubled its recycling rate, and saved $51,000 in disposal fees, according to new figures released by the town.

The program—managed by WasteZero as part of the WasteZero Trash Metering™ service offering—began on July 1, 2014. Municipal solid waste (MSW) decreased by 64% in the year after the program began—from 2,752 tons in Fiscal Year 2014 (the year before PAYT) to 986 tons in FY2015.

Hanson 1-yr MSW

Hanson’s recycling rate more than doubled with PAYT, from 16% in FY2014 to 38% in FY2015.

Hanson 1-yr Recyc Rate

The changes have had a significant impact on Hanson’s municipal finances. The town has saved an estimated $51,295 in disposal fees in the year that PAYT has been in place.

There have also been meaningful environmental benefits to Hanson’s PAYT program. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), the amount of garbage that Hanson has diverted from the waste stream with PAYT has reduced greenhouse gases by an amount equal to the emissions from 650 cars. In addition, the waste reduction has led to energy savings equal to the amount used to fully power 250 houses.

“I am very happy with the partnership between Hanson and WasteZero,” Hanson Town Administrator Ron San Angelo said. He added, “We dramatically improved recycling, reduced solid waste, and saved taxpayers a considerable amount of money.”

In addition to the move to pay-as-you-throw, part of the decline in MSW can also be attributed to a decrease in commercial users of the transfer station once the program began and new transfer station stickers were issued.

About Hanson’s PAYT Program

Hanson adopted its PAYT program partly in response to an upcoming dramatic increase in its tipping fee, the cost the town pays to dispose of its garbage. The town had been paying $34.50 per ton, and expected a significant increase when its disposal contract with SEMASS Covanta expired in December 2014. The tipping fee is now $55 per ton.

Under the program, residents use official orange bags stamped with the Hanson seal to dispose of their trash at the town’s transfer station. 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 bags are sold at 13 retail outlets in and around Hanson. They are available in two sizes: 30-gallon ($2.00 per bag, sold in packages of five) and 15-gallon ($1.25 per bag, sold in packages of eight). Recycling at the transfer station is free.

For more information about the program, click here: /hanson.

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 rates. 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.