Dublin Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee seeks pay-as-you-throw system

Town of Dublin

Town of Dublin Bill Fonda—COURTESY PHOTO

By CAMERON CASHMAN

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 02-27-2024 10:02 AM

The Dublin Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee (WRRC) is pushing for a new waste-disposal system that it hopes will mitigate the impact of the rising costs of waste disposal and transfer station operation on the town budget.

Known as a pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) system, it would require residents to pay per unit of trash delivered to the transfer station, either by weight or per bag. Currently, the cost of waste disposal is covered by property taxes.

Committee member Al Lyons stated residents who bring less waste to the transfer station are effectively subsidizing those who bring more. The committee believes the implementation of a PAYT system would more equitably spread the costs of waste disposal across the town’s residents,as those who bring more waste to the transfer station would pay more, while those who choose to recycle and compost, thereby reducing the amount of solid waste they generate, would pay less. The committee hopes this would encourage more residents to compost and recycle.

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee cites neighboring towns’ PAYT systems as examples of how such a program can be successful. Peterborough, which implemented a PAYT system in 1999, only accepts waste disposed of in special trash bags, the sale of which pays for the continued operation of the program. According to the town’s website, the PAYT program has brought a reduction in waste and an increase in recycled material, resulting in lower disposal costs.

Material cited by Dublin WRRC states that towns with a PAYT program could experience a 25& to 45% reduction in the amount of waste generated, which would bring a similar reduction in disposal and transfer facility costs. With those savings and the potential revenue generated by the sale of waste disposal bags, Dublin could allocate funds to a more-robust recycling program. Currently, Dublin only recycles plastic types one and two, but the committee would like to see all seven common recyclable plastic types accepted to greater reduce the town’s impact on the environment.

The WRRC says the cost-per-pound of solid waste disposal has increased almost 34% since 2021, and is expected to increase by another 13% by 2026. Dublin relies on Monadnock Disposal Service to handle its waste disposal, and it is currently charging $2.25 per 30 pounds of waste. The WRRC expects this to increase to $2.40 in 2025 and $2.55 in 2026 – on top of the costs of staffing and operating the transfer station.

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee holds meetings on the second Monday of every month at 5 p.m. in the lower level of the Dublin Town Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend to learn more about PAYT and other committee initiatives.

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