Mayor Carolyn Kirk to Speak at National League of Cities 2012 Congress of Cities in Boston
Raleigh, NC – November 26, 2012 – Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk will speak at a Solution Theater workshop Thursday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center as part of the upcoming National League of Cities 2012 Congress of Cities. The workshop, Global Trash Projections Demand New Approach to Managing Municipal Solid Waste, is one of ten Solution Theaters to be offered at the Congress of Cities, and will be sponsored by WasteZero, the city of Gloucester’s Pay-As-You-Throw program coordinator. WasteZero President Mark Dancy will join Mayor Kirk at the Solution Theater. The 2012 Congress of Cities will bring together municipal leaders from cities and towns throughout the US from November 28 through December 1.
The urgency of Mayor Kirk’s message is supported by a recent study by the World Bank (http://go.worldbank.org/9IUV3MOSP0) pointing out that the amount of trash generated worldwide is expected to nearly double over the next decade from 1.3 billion tons today to 2.2 billion tons by 2025. Similarly, the costs for managing and disposing of the trash will also nearly double (from $205 billion to $375 billion annually) compelling US cities and towns to seek viable solutions for reducing and better managing their municipal solid waste (MSW). According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, PAYT programs like Gloucester’s WasteZero Trash Metering program, where residents are charged only for the amount of trash that they throw away, have proven to be the single most effective way to reduce residential sold waste, increase recycling, and decrease waste-related greenhouse gas emissions.
“It’s a unique opportunity to share the City’s experience with PAYT and the unquestioned success of our program with municipal leaders from around the country,” said Mayor Kirk. “The program is not only inherently fair for all residents; it delivers economic benefits and efficiencies that have enabled us to continue to fund other essential city services during a challenging economic period.”
In 2009, the City converted its 1990 sticker-based PAYT program, the first such program implemented in the Commonwealth, to a more efficient plastic bag waste disposal program. The conversion from stickers to bags produced immediate results, exceeding the City’s expectations. Gloucester officials initially projected a 15% decrease in MSW disposal in the first year, but instead realized a 37% reduction after only one month. After the first full year, solid waste tonnage decreased 26% (2,373 tons), resulting in more than $163,000 savings in tipping fees (the price per ton the town pays to dispose of its trash at the RESCO incinerator in Saugus, MA). Through 2011, Gloucester residents continued to reduce their solid waste tonnage by more than 2,000 tons annually, saving the city nearly $140,000 each year.
Since the inception of the program, Gloucester’s recycling tonnage has increased by 15% on average each year, bringing the city’s recycling rate to 31%, fifth highest in the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Northeast Region.
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.