Oct 20

Waterville, Maine, Pay-as-You-Throw Program Far Exceeds Waste Reduction and Financial Targets in First Six Weeks of Operation

Joshua Kolling-Perin
Director, Public Engagement

North Andover, MA – Oct. 20, 2014 – In the first six weeks of pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) in Waterville, Maine, solid waste tonnage has decreased by 55%, and the city has saved $20,874.39 in disposal fees, according to new figures released by Waterville’s Department of Public Works. Both the waste reduction and the disposal fee savings are significantly greater than the city’s projections.

The program began on Sept. 8. In the six weeks between that date and Oct. 17, municipal solid waste (MSW) dropped by more than half—from 521 tons in this six-week period in 2013 to 232 tons in the same period this year. The 55% MSW reduction far exceeds the city’s targeted 44% reduction.


The financial impact of Waterville’s PAYT program has also exceeded expectations. In its first six weeks, the program has saved the city $20,874.39 in reduced disposal fees—much greater than the city’s original target of $15,808 for the period. On an annualized basis, the program is now projected to save $180,911 in its first full year, significantly greater than the city’s initial target of $137,000.


“The reductions that have been experienced thus far are significantly beyond what we initially predicted,” Waterville Public Works Director Mark Turner said. He added, “Overall, consistently positive results have been achieved on both waste reduction and recycling. The credit goes entirely to our residents, who have helped make this program an even greater success than was originally anticipated.”

About Waterville’s PAYT Program

Under the program—managed by WasteZero as part of the WasteZero Trash Metering™ service offering—Waterville residents using the city’s curbside collection service now dispose of their trash in official purple garbage bags stamped with the Waterville seal. Being more aware of the cost of their garbage makes residents more likely to recycle and divert other productive materials from the waste stream.

Waterville, population 16,000, serves 7,500 households with curbside collection of municipal solid waste and single-stream recycling. The city began its curbside single-stream recycling collection in July.

The new purple trash bags—made in the U.S. using recycled content—are available at 14 retail outlets in Waterville. The bags are available in two sizes:

  • Small, 15-gallon bags, sold in packages of eight for $10.00 per package
  • Large, 30-gallon bags, sold in packages of five for $10.00 per package

An interactive map listing all the locations carrying the bags is available at http://goo.gl/ss8mSp.

The city’s projections before the program began estimated an annual financial impact from PAYT of $506,000, made up of $137,000 in disposal savings and $369,000 in revenue from the sale of bags.

To learn more about PAYT in Waterville, visit /waterville.

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.