Why We Have a Trash Problem

We Need Utility Pricing for Trash

For most of us, the way we pay for trash service in this country is out of date and encourages waste.  Think about this:  We pay for nearly everything based on how much of it we use—water, gas, electricity, and other resources.  That gives us all an incentive to save water, turn down the heat when we leave the house, and turn off the lights when we leave a room.

But it’s different with trash, where almost everybody pays the same amount no matter how much of it they create.  Most cities and towns charge a flat fee to every household.  Or, they simply bury the cost of trash in the property tax bill.  That’s an outdated model that doesn’t give anybody an incentive to reduce waste or recycle.

 Pay Based on UsePay the Same
Regardless of Use
WaterX
ElectricityX
GasX
TrashX

Managing garbage this way actually creates waste, because there is no economic incentive to reduce waste.  It’s also unfair because responsible recyclers end up subsidizing their wasteful neighbors.  We can do better, and communities around the nation are doing it every day.

Pay-As-You-Throw Is a Better Way

With pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs, people pay for how much trash they throw away instead of being charged a one-size-fits-all fixed fee.

PAYT programs treat trash service like any other utility and give people control over their trash bill.  Those who throw away more, pay more.  Those who throw away less, pay less. It’s more fair, it’s better for the environment, and it improves the community.

PAYT gives people a powerful incentive to reduce waste and recycle.  After all, why pay to throw away when you can reduce, recycle, and reuse—for free?