After receiving a notice from their recycling facility that they had amassed thousands of dollars in fees over just 15 days for excessive recycling contamination, the city of Sanford, Maine decided to ramp up their enforcement efforts for recycling rules. Thanks to their pay-as-you-throw program, their efforts were a resounding success.
Since China started cracking down on accepting contaminated recycling from the U.S., many communities find themselves either facing huge fees for contamination or increased tipping fees because more recycling is now ending up in the landfill. The city of Sanford, Maine found itself in exactly this situation not too long ago.
Looking to avoid $100,000 in fees the City hadn’t budgeted for, Sanford acted quickly to strengthen its enforcement of recycling rules. In a community with a traditional payment structure for trash collection this increased enforcement would likely have resulted in residents taking the easy route and just tossing their recycling in the trash, but Sanford’s pay-as-you-throw program provided the perfect incentive to stop that from happening–the more you trash, the more you pay.
In just a few short weeks, Sanford went from contamination rates of 15-20% to between 0% and 3% per truck! Read more about the City’s success here.