Jan 29

New Pay-to-Throw Program in Eliot, Maine, Cuts Solid Waste by More Than Half, Saves $8,500 in Four Months

Joshua Kolling-Perin
Director, Public Engagement

Raleigh, NC – Jan. 29, 2014 – After its first four months of operation, the new pay-to-throw waste reduction and recycling program in Eliot, Maine has reduced solid waste by 57% and saved more than $8,500, according to figures released by the town.

The program, managed by WasteZero, began September 3. From September through December, Eliot residents threw away 57% less municipal solid waste (MSW) than they did in the same three-month period the year prior: from 268 tons in 2012 down to 116 tons in 2013. In addition, Eliot saved $8,589 in tipping fees to dispose of their MSW-from $15,236 down to $6,647 in the same time period. The tipping fee savings put Eliot on pace save more than $25,000 per year, higher than their projected first-year savings of $22,000.

Eliot, ME

Eliot’s 6,200 residents may participate in the pay-to-throw program via the town’s transfer station. In the program, residents dispose of their garbage in purple plastic trash bags imprinted with the town seal that they purchase from retail stores in and around town. 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 $1.25 for 15-gallon bags and $2 for 30-gallon bags.

Eliot Public Works Director Joel Moulton said, “The town of Eliot in general did a very good job at recycling prior to the implementation of the pay-per-bag program-but very good and excellent are a long ways in between. To reduce the disposal of municipal solid waste by greater than another 50% is excellent, which puts the town on track to maintaining a low budget for its transfer station operation and in turn reduces the tax burden on residents.”

WasteZero President Mark Dancy added, “Eliot has shown fantastic success in cutting their waste volume dramatically, right out of the gate. That’s already making a big difference in the town’s finances, and we expect it to only get better.”

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.