Unit Pricing for Waste in Washington D.C.

Unit Pricing for Waste in Washington D.C.

Thanks to the persistence of local organizations, Washington D.C. is expected to undertake a pilot study of Save As You Throw (SYT), sometimes called Pay As You Throw (PAYT) or Save Money and Reduce Trash (SMART).

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is required to undertake this task under the 2014 Solid Waste Management Reform Act. Citizen and Environmental groups under the leadership of Global Green’s DC Environmental Network helped secure $100,000 in funding for this project. The DPW is expected to issue an RFP for the SAYT Pilot by September.

DCEN’s recent newsletter explains:

This pilot will demonstrate what cities like San Francisco, Vancouver, and Curitiba already know. Creating incentives for recycling, not for sending waste to landfill and incineration, is a proven method for significant increases of a city’s recycling levels. SAYT is the most impactful and cost-effective program a city can implement to improve all elements of existing and planned zero-waste programs, including composting and other food waste focused initiatives.

This Guidance Letter was sent to the DPW’s Office of Waste Diversion by DCEN, ILSR, and the DC Sierra Club.

For greater context, explore ILSR’s Pay As You Throw tag.

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Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D, directs the Recycling and Economic Growth 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 and is a member of ILSR's Board of Directors.

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