Mar 14

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

Joshua Kolling-Perin
Director, Public Engagement

North Andover, MA – March 14, 2014 – In the first three months of its new pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste reduction and recycling program, the town of Wellfleet, Mass., has reduced its solid waste by 36%, more than doubled its recycling rate, and saved $3,000, according to new figures released by the town’s Department of Public Works.

The program began on Dec. 1, 2013. Over the next three months, Wellfleetians threw away 286 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW), compared with 449 tons in the same period one year earlier-a 36% decrease in MSW.

Wellfleet’s recycling rate more than doubled with PAYT, from 11% from December through February a year ago to 24% in the three months since PAYT implementation. Overall recycling volume increased 66%, from 55 tons a year ago to 92 tons in the last three months.

The changes have had a meaningful impact on Wellfleet’s municipal finances. Wellfleet’s spending on tipping fees decreased by $3,011 during this three-month period, from $8,301 between December 2012 and February 2013 to $5,289 between December 2013 and February 2014-a 36% drop.


About Wellfleet’s PAYT Program

Wellfleet adopted the PAYT program in response to an upcoming dramatic increase in its “tipping fee,” the cost the town pays to dispose of its garbage. The tipping fee is going to more than triple, from $18.50 per ton now to $60 per ton in 2016.

The PAYT program in Wellfleet began on Dec. 1, 2013. Under the program, residents use official purple bags stamped with the Wellfleet seal to dispose of their trash at the town’s transfer station. Recycling is free.

The purple bags are available at nine retail outlets in and around Wellfleet. They are available in three sizes-8-gallon ($.50 per bag), 15-gallon ($1.00 per bag), and 33-gallon ($1.50 per bag).

Other Cape Cod communities with PAYT programs are Sandwich, which adopted its program in 2011, and Brewster, which began in Oct. 2013.

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.