Orleans Considering Pay As You Throw

ORLEANS – Orleans residents recently heard details from both the Board of Health and selectmen on a Pay As You Throw method for trash removal and recycling.

Proponents of concept say it saves both the town and citizens money, and it incentives proper and easier recycling via a single recycling stream with no sorting needed.

“The recycling market has really come a long way,” said Orleans DPW Director Tom Daley.

“Because now instead of throwing away most of it, we can recycle, reuse almost all of it.”

Orleans residents currently pay $125 a year for transfer station stickers.

Daley said the town pays $228,000 – about a third of its transfer station budget – to remove trash, and prices are going up.

Daley argues that Pay As Your Throw would reduce waste by 40%, since residents are only paying for each bag they use. From there, more recyclables would be removed from trash bags, leading to smaller bags and fewer trips to the transfer station.

Daley also believes the system would bring more fairness in terms of who pays for what, saying some residents subsidize their neighbors’ trash bill.

“You’ve got the little old lady who lives alone. She generates a Walmart bag of trash a week. Under the current system, she’s paying the same as a family of six,” he argued.

“Is that fair? I mean, that’s a decision that you make, as a community.”

Some residents were not as excited about single stream recycling, citing towns such as Barnstable and Mashpee that have moved away from it.

Neither Pay As You Throw or single stream recycling have been enacted in the town.

Selectmen said another meeting on the topic will be held prior to a vote or town meeting.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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