GRAFTON, Mass.—The pay-as-you-throw trash program has reduced the town’s disposal costs by over $135,000 compared to when the PAYT program started three years ago, Assistant Town Administrator Kevin Mizikar reported to Selectmen Tuesday.
“This has significantly offset our tax increases,” Mizikar said. “This is helpful because we have seen large increases in other areas, like health care costs.”
In 2009, tipping fees to haul resident trash was $357,178; in fiscal year 2012, the cost was $220,436. Grafton residents reduced their trash hauling fees by 41 percent, from 5,169 tons in 2009 to 3,041 tons in 2012.
In addition, resident recycling efforts have nearly doubled, from 888 tons in 2009 to 1,744 tons in 2012.
“Switching from 18- gallon recycling bins to the larger 36 and 96-gallon bins meant that people would recycle more,” Mizikar said.
When Selectman Peter Adams asked if the town administrator would consider dropping the cost of the bags, the answer was that the revenue generated from the PAYT sales does not cover the town’s entire annual hauling costs of $520,000, which includes fees outside of the PAYT program.
“The good news is that there are no plans to to increase trash bag fees,” said Town Administrator Tim McInerney.
McInerney said the next goal is to figure out how to improve recycling efforts in municipal buildings and schools. This would not only include education programs and well placed recycling bins, but also to figure out how many tons of trash is generated per year, which they have had trouble getting an accurate number from E.L. Harvey, the contracted trash collector.