First of all, so Mary Ann doesn’t feel singled out, let’s set the mood here.
Irene Congdon of the Department of Environmental Protection and members of the Recycling Committee dropped in on Selectmen to talk about the upcoming pay as you throw program, which we’ll affectionately call PAYT from here on out. Our acting town administrator’s budget depends on PAYT starting in July — PAYT is expected to save the town an estimated $90,000 between revenues from bag sales and increased recycling.
How much are these bags going to cost? It will run you 75 cents each for a large kitchen garbage bag, $1.50 for a 33 gallon trash bag.
Recycling, of course, remains free, so the more you recycle — all that junk mail, the papers sent home from school, bottles, cans, plastics — the less bags you use and the more money you end up saving.
PAYT was considered to be a more equitable option, since the households that generate the most trash will be the ones paying more. Bags should be available for sale in June at least four weeks before the program starts. If it’s anything like Northborough’s program, those bags should be sold at Stop & Shop and other retailers as well as at the Municipal Building since the idea isn’t to make it as inconvenient as possible.
A public hearing on the program should take place in April and the committee plans outreach around town. Since a good portion of the town has switched to Verizon and doesn’t receive the local channels yet (no one seems to know when that will be fixed), it was suggested that they try to put a video up on YouTube as well as local access programming.
Around Central Mass:
- Worcester cut its trash in half using PAYT
- North Brookfield reduced waste by 20 percent and increased recycling by 4 percent
- Lunenburg saved $100,000 in the first year
- Ayer saw a 53 percent waste reduction in the first few months
- Northborough reduced waste by 35 percent in the first three months, a savings of $75,000
A bit more on PAYT: payt20proposal