Pay As You Throw on Hold in Mashpee

recyclingMASHPEE – The Town of Mashpee is going back to the drawing board in hopes of establishing a new Pay-As-You-Throw trash plan.

The town is establishing a Waste Management Committee that will look at the issues again and report its findings early next year.

Pay As You Throw has been used by towns across the commonwealth to lower municipal trash disposal costs by having each household pay a fee for trash bags. The idea being that the fewer bags used, the less expensive it is for the household. The system is meant to encourage recycling.

After a vote approving the plan, the board of selectmen heard from citizens complaining that the hearing had not been properly noticed and people did not realize selectmen were considering changing the town’s trash program.

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In response, selectmen rescinded their vote on the plan and held a public hearing last month. Comments at the hearing were both in favor of and against the new trash plan. But the overwhelming majority of people spoke against the plan.

As a result, selectmen have no plans to implement Pay As You Throw in 2015.

Mashpee Selectman Andrew Gottlieb said the plan made sense.

“The work around Pay As You Throw clearly demonstrated that it was financilly advantageous for the majority of town residents and tax players. And that from a minimizing waste and maximizing recycling and therefore minimizing our overall impact on the world, it was clear that it was the right way to go and I still think that,” he said.

Gottlieb said they will hold more public discussions next year once they receive the Waste Management Committee’s findings.

Gottlieb said he sees the opposition as a matter of people being unfamiliar with Pay As You Throw.

“I also think there was reluctance doing things or thinking about things in a way that is different from the way they have been trained to think about them for a number of years,” he said.