Commonwealth Magazine has an article on trash and recycling in Massachusetts, and we do not look so good – too much trash per person, and therefore spending too much on trash disposal. On the map they publish we are one of the few in the red (800+ lbs of trash/person/year).
Our single stream recycling has upped our recycling numbers some and brought our trash tonnage down some.
However, DEP consistently tells me that the only way to get our trash numbers down a lot is to go to pay-as-you-throw, but no one likes PAYT. DEP pointed me to Duxbury’s example, as Duxbury saw a slight drop in its trash amounts when it went to single stream, but Duxbury only achieved a dramatic drop when it implemented PAYT a year of two later.
To me it is an issue of trade offs, how much inconvenience and cost are we willing to suffer via PAYT to save the town money on trash disposal. We know PAYT saves towns money, but we currently prefer to pay higher taxes to avoid PAYT.
CommonWealth magazine points out that Massachusetts pay-as-you-throw communities-nearly one-third of municipalities in the state-throw out just 432 pounds per person per year on average, compared with 670 pounds in non-PAYT cities and towns.