FAQs

With a WasteZero Program, Can Residents Still Use Their Trash Carts?

Absolutely.  If residents currently use trash carts, nothing about trash and recycling collection would change with PAYT, other than using new bags.

Is It Convenient for Residents to Get and Use the Bags?

Very. PAYT bags are made available at a wide range of retailers throughout the community, and residents use them the same way they would regular trash bags.

Will It Change the Trash Collection Day for Residents?

No.

Will It Change What Can Be Recycled?

No. Some communities even use the savings from their PAYT programs to pay for additional recycling services, such as textiles and organic waste (food scraps for composting).

Are the Bags Affordable?

Yes.  Although the bags are more expensive than traditional black or white garbage bags, participants in PAYT bag programs cut their trash by about half (and so typically use far fewer bags).  Although everybody can throw away as much as they wish to, the average household in a WasteZero pay-as-you-throw program uses the equivalent of about one 30-gallon bag per week.

Is Pay-as-You-Throw a Burden on Low-Income Residents?

While surveys and studies show that PAYT programs do not create a problem for low-income residents, some cities do opt to help these residents pay for bags.  It’s also true that PAYT gives low-income residents a way to control their solid waste disposal expenses that they currently do not have.

Won’t Pay-as-You-Throw Encourage People To Dump Trash In Parks And On The Streets?

No.  In our experience—backed up by other surveys and studies—PAYT simply does not increase illegal dumping.  Most illegal dumping is not residential waste; it’s construction debris and bulky waste like couches, mattresses, and tires. These materials aren’t affected by PAYT in the first place, so people don’t have any reason to dump any more of it once PAYT comes to town.

Since Residents Already Pay for Trash Collection, Isn’t PAYT a “Double Tax?”

WasteZero generally recommends that with PAYT, cities reduce or eliminate flat fees for trash service. Communities that pay for trash service from the general fund may reduce property taxes, avoid planned tax increases, or give residents a rebate on the cost of their bags.  A community’s financial situation will determine its options.

What Do Residents Do if They Have a Question or a Problem With Defective Bags?

For most general questions, residents and retailers can call an automated toll-free line.  If a customer has a faulty bag, he or she can call WasteZero Customer Service (live) for a free replacement bag.

What Informational Resources About the Program Are Available to Residents?

Before a program’s launch, WasteZero works with the city to send information directly to residents, announce the program in the local media, and more.  WasteZero establishes a toll-free information line and a dedicated program website for residents.  These resources offer a wide range of information, such as how the program works, where to get bags, what can be recycled, where to call with questions or problems, and more.

How Will the Financial Savings From PAYT Be Used?

Some communities use the savings from PAYT to enhance services such as roads, schools, parks, police, and fire protection. Others use them to reduce taxes or avoid planned tax increases. Still others use PAYT to reduce or eliminate budget deficits.