A Teaching Moment on ‘Pay As You Throw’ Recycling Policy in Connecticut

Neil Seldman ILSR’s co-founder and director of its Waste to Wealth Initiative, quoted in Falls River Herald News on unit pricing of solid waste and recycling: Stands corrected.

Seldman stated that he was not aware of any community that ended its Pay As You Throw (PAYT) program when interviewed by Herald News reporter Jo C. Goode. After the interview he learned of one such community, East Lyme, Conn.

That town seems to have made a political decision to quit PAYT. The First Selectman got elected and one of his promises was that he would end the program. As a result waste went back up to where it was prior to the program. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, DEEP, is developing a case study of East Lyme. By comparison the neighboring town of Stonington, Conn., which has the same population, implemented PAYT at the same time as East Lyme. By referendum the residents voted overwhelmingly to keep the program. Since East Lyme eliminated the program, Stonington has saved over 6 million in avoided disposal costs and they throw away 50% less per capita. The decision to end PAYT in East Lyme may have cost the city millions of dollars.

Here is the beginning of the Falls River Herald News article, click here for the full article:

Trashing Fall River’s purple bag program may have hidden consequences

by Jo C. Goode, Falls River Herald News

As Mayor Jasiel Correia II moves forward with a plan to end the program some are seeing a promise coming to fruition, but with unknown variables, hidden costs and the loss of nearly $2 million in revenue there are questions as to whether Correia’s goal is financially viable and environmentally wise.

Photo Credit: Photo via Good Free Photos.

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Follow Nick Stumo-Langer:
Nick Stumo-Langer

Nick Stumo-Langer was Communications Manager at ILSR working for all five initiatives. He ran ILSR's Facebook and Twitter profiles and builds relationships with reporters. He is an alumnus of St. Olaf College and animated by the concerns of monopoly power across our economy.

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Follow Neil Seldman:
Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and businesses recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy through new processing and manufacturing facilities. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.