Brewster switched to the new model nine months ago, and Dave Quinn, the county’s regional waste reduction coordinator, said the results are as expected. “Trash is way down; recycling is way up,” he said.
Quinn detailed the savings for the town.
“Trash is down by about 49 percent so almost cut in half which resulted in a savings of about $40,000 in disposal fees and fuel costs, to truck the material off the Cape,” he said.
Brewster, like other Cape towns, pays a per ton fee to dispose of trash to Covanta SEMASS, a waste to energy plant in Rochester. That means the less trash produced, the less the town has to pay.
Those savings are also seen by the residents as well, Quinn said. With the pay-as-you-throw system households pay per bag of trash, so those households that produce less trash do not need to buy as many bags and save money.
Recycling in Brewster is also up significantly, Quinn said, by about 28 percent.
Brewster joins Sandwich and Wellfleet as the three Cape towns to have adopted pay-as-you-throw.
“What we’ve found all over the state is when these types of programs are put in place, people really do reduce their waste,” he said.
The town of Sandwich is in its third year of the program and they’ve seen a 45 to 50 percent reduction in their trash, similar to Brewster.
Wellfleet recently completed a six-month report and their trash has been decreased by 40 percent, Quinn said.