What can we say? Pay-as-you-throw is hot in Maine these days. In just one week, two communities have voted in a program—first it was the city of Waterville (you can read more about that here), and now it’s the town of Etna, whose town meeting voted in favor of pay-as-you-throw on Wednesday.
Etna is paying $72 per ton now to send their trash to a waste incinerator about a half-hour away in the town of Orrington. But their contract with that facility expires in three years, and they had been looking to take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of a big increase in their tipping fee. And what better way to do that than to bring in pay-as-you-throw?
The town is expecting their solid waste tonnage to decrease by almost 50%—which means their spending on tipping fees should go down by half too. It may even go down by more than that, because Etna is working with the nonprofit waste management cooperative ecomaine to expand the list of what can be recycled. And of course, more recycling means less trash.
What’s more, Etna is participating in WasteZero’s More in Return™ program, which will give residents a rebate at the end of the year for the average amount each household spent on bags.
Expect to hear more soon as Etna prepares to launch their program in the next few months—but in the meantime, let’s celebrate a big week for pay-as-you-throw in Maine. Congratulations to Etna and Waterville!