Mar 7

Pay-as-You-Throw Program in Plymouth, Mass., Cuts Solid Waste, Boosts Recycling Rate, and Saves Money

Joshua Kolling-Perin
Director, Public Engagement

North Andover, MA – March 7, 2014 – In the first six months of its new pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste reduction and recycling program, the town of Plymouth, Mass., has reduced its solid waste by 42%, nearly doubled its recycling rate, and saved $76,268, according to new figures released by the town’s Department of Public Works.

The program began on July 1, 2013. Between then and Dec. 31, Plymouth residents threw away 3,514 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW), compared with 6,049 tons in the same six-month period one year earlier-a 42% decrease in MSW.

Plymouth’s recycling rate nearly doubled with PAYT, from 14% in the last six months of 2012 to 27% in the last six months of 2013. Overall recycling volume increased 27%, from 1,008 tons in the 2012 period to 1,277 tons in the 2013 period.

The changes have had a meaningful impact on Plymouth’s municipal finances. Between decreased tipping fees for solid waste and revenue from the sale of recyclables, the program has added $76,268 to Plymouth’s municipal finances during the six-month period.


About Plymouth’s PAYT Program

The PAYT program in Plymouth began on July 1, 2013. Under the program, residents use official orange Plymouth garbage bags to dispose of their trash. For the first six months of the program, the orange bags were in use only at the town’s transfer station. On Jan. 1, 2014, the town introduced automated curbside collection with single-stream recycling, and participants in that option also use the orange bags to dispose of their MSW.

The orange bags are available at 22 retail outlets throughout Plymouth and in several neighboring communities. They come in two sizes: small, 15-gallon bags sold in packages of eight, and large, 30-gallon bags sold in packages of five. Packages for both sizes sell for $6.25.

For more information about Plymouth’s SMART program, please visit /plymouth-ma.aspx/.

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.