United States
                           Environmental Protection
                                Solid Waste and
                                Emergency Response
Summer 2001
A Listing of Pay-As-You-Throw News and Events
                                                     :     I
  in Francisco     ... j
     'f'qcts...  _..   i
j. Sgn...Pranas£p's. popula- ,|
?ilpn \s776J33 people |
t(2pOb censys)T         J
I In...1999f:,Sqn Francisco j
tdeposed of 780,000    |
'tons of waste.          1
sjhe sarne year, the city J
?;refcbyereci 568JbOb tons J
•of materials.
 San jFrqncisco's recy-
>;cling rate is 42  percent.
': {California has a 50
i percent waste diversion
 Bigger,  Older,  Wiser:

 San Francisco Makes a Good Thing Even Better

        ore than 5,000 cities across the U.S. have a PAYT program in place to make garbage
        collection more equitable and efficient, and many of these are mid- to large-size
        cities. But the city of San Francisco is a leader to them all, having had a PAYT pro-
 gram in place longer than most cities have had a recycling program. The city's PAYT pro-
 gram, which started in the early 1900s, is one of the oldest PAYT programs in  the country.
   With years of experience, San Francisco has found out how to make the most of its waste
 management program. The city's new "Fantastic Three" program, which separates discarded
 materials by type at the curbside into three 32-gallon containers, is the city's latest step in
 improving its waste and recyclables collection program across the board. In this program,
 commingled recyclables are collected in a blue container,  food scraps and yard trimmings in a
 green container, and regular garbage in a black container. A year-long pilot project conducted
 in one area of the city proved so successful that the city now plans to convert two-thirds of
 the city's residences to this program.
   The innovative Fantastic Three program is the first program in the U.S. to collect food
scraps at the curbside for composting. Other California cities, including San Jose, are using
the Fantastic Three model to improve their own collection programs, said Lisa Schiller with
the city of San Francisco's Solid Waste Management Program.
   Schiller added that collecting commingled recyclables  is a feature of the Fantastic Three
  ^^Pa^&atJSaayjjth^^              toward. Commingled collection "makes recycling
    easy for residents,"^ScEIIIeTlliarThe^recyclables are sorted at the materials  recovery facil-
 ity by the hauler.                    ^^^*
     In the pilot project, the use of the three sejarate containers
  reduces  litter because the containers are lidded| Iftalsc^eters^Iegal
  scavenging—since the recyclables are comminglld, it is'harder for scavengers  to
  abscond with the more valuable recyclables, Schiller said.
       San Francisco also recently approved new waste and recyclak
                            posed by the city's private waste haul
                              rates, residents who use the 32-g;
                                      about $14.83 per
                                      increase from the
                                                                                       fcollection rates pro-
                                                                                         Under the new
                                                                                       3n can will be charged
                                                                                     L for waste collection, an
                                                                                Previous rate of $11.68.
                                                                                            (continued on page 2)
  Printed on paper that contains at least 50 percent postconsumer fiber.

Continued from page 1

   As an incen-
tive to recycle
more and dis-
pose of less
materials, resi-
dents can use a
20-gallon can,  and those
who do  will be charged 77
percent  of the 32-gallon con-
tainer rate, or approximately
$11.42 per month. Approximately 8 percent of city resi-
dents use the 20-gallon container exclusively right now,
and the city anticipates that figure to increase to 17.5 per-
cent of residents within the next 5 years, according to
Schiller. The program allows flexibility for higher waste
generators—residents can purchase an additional 32-gal-
lon container,  for an additional $14.80 per month, if one
container does not suffice.
    Another change to die city's PAYT program has been
the addition of all apartment buildings, so now all
325,000 residences  in the city have access to a PAYT col-
lection  program. Apartment buildings in San Francisco
are not  required to recycle, but putting a PAYT program
in place should encourage apartment building managers
to promote recycling because it will save them money on
their waste collection bills.
    Two private waste haulers, Sunset Scavenger and
Golden Gate Disposal, both subsidiaries of Norcal Waste
Disposal, collect all the commercial and residential waste
and recyclables generated in the city. The haulers  are
 responsible for making sure that the recycling containers
 are not contaminated with waste materials and educating
 residents about which materials are recyclable.
    For more information, contact Lisa Schiller with San
 Francisco's Solid Waste Management Program, at 415
  L£ontacf Jan. ^n|efj^^|!^,5lt§^..,
     :!'^''if:fbi'-7:2^3"'	oV^^maTaT
                       )ce@epa.gov to snare
 Recycling  Is  all  About


        Communities with PAYT programs typically have
        higher recycling participation rates, and their resi-
        dents have a better attitude toward recycling,
 according to a recent survey. The Massachusetts
 Department of Environmental Protection surveyed 750
 state residents and found that recycling participation in
 PAYT communities exceeds the statewide average by a
 noticeable margin.  Seventy percent of PAYT households
 say that they are "doing all they can" to recycle, compared
 with 50 percent of households statewide that do not have
L,;PAYT programs. Furthermore, only 14 percent of resi-
 : dents in PAYT communities are not recycling, compared
 with 27 percent statewide.
     Not surprisingly, residents in PAYT communities
 report that recycling is easy and  more convenient, and
 these residents are less likely to need reminders to recycle
" "than respondents from non-PAYT communities in  the
_ state. In addition, residents in PAYT communities are sig-
 nificantly moreTikely to say that their household is com-
 mitted to recycling (82 percent), compared with residents
 in Dther Massachusetts communities (64 percent).
     Recycling rates for specific materials—from newspa-
  perrcorrugated'cardboard, and paperboard to plastic,
  glass,  and metal containers—are noticeably higher in
  PAW communities than in" areas that do not have  a
 -,„, -^ * * - ?ajfe:..^.^;i^^s*^"=4Sff4^5 ;.:,,^i, v .-^- r -:M,,J i	v, , .h^i'i,,,:™^., y." =  '  •  •-,-,- -•-->-
  PAYT program. The difference in recycling rates is most
  noticeable for paper products, with residents in PAYT
  Communities recycling much more paper products than
  their non-PAYT counterparts.
 , ™_Ahhough the report finds that about half of
 Ethe"state's households recycle all diat they can,
  there is room for improvement: one out of four
  residents do not participate in the state's recycling
 "effort, and one-half of residents do not regularly
 ;i riefiycle paperboard, mixed paper, or corrugated
  cardTwardr Demographics plays a strong role
  in shaping residents' recycling behavior—the
  state's most dedicated recyclers are residents age
  65 or older who have lived in their communities
  for more than 10 years. In addition, the southeast
  region of the state reports a noticeably lower
  level  of participation  in recycling pro-
  grams than other regions.
     The report, Massachusetts DEP
   Recycling Participation Study, is
   available online at
2 PAYT  Bulletin

  Austin  Becomes  Fully


       ustia, Texas, one of several larger cities that has
       set up a successful PAYT program, recently
      ims.de some changes to make its solid waste
  management system even better. Automation and fee
  incentives are enhancing the efficiency and cost-
  effectiveness of the program.
    The city is switching from a semi-automated sys-
  tem to a fully automated system, which allows for
  one-person  crews. The new method of collection will
  be more cost-efficient, and 40 percent of Austins resi-
  dents have been converted to the new system, with
  complete implementation expected by fall 2002.
    The city educates residents on how to set out their
 carts so the  automated loaders can handle them with-
 out problems. Under the PAYT program, residents
 have the choice of using  30-, 60-, or 90-gallon carts,
 each with a  different rate. Smaller fees are charged for
 a second cart. In another program change, extra
 garbage that will not fit into a cart can now be placed
 in a bag affixed with a $2 garbage sticker. Previously,
 haulers did not collect garbage left in bags without
 stickers. Now,
 bags without
 proper stick-
 ers are still
 collected by
 hand by the
 hauler, but
 residents are
 charged $4 per
 untagged bag.
   There's no question that Austin's diversion rates
 are increasing. Between October 1999 and September
 2000, the city kept close to 28.5 percent of its resi-
 dential garbage from disposal, compared with a 9.8
 percent diversion rate in 1991, the year the PAYT
 program began.
   For more  information  on Austin's program, con-
 tact Vidal Maldonado of the city of Austin at 512
462-4312 or  vidal.maldonado@ci.austin.tx.us.
Educational information and resources for Austin's
citizens also are available at the city's Web site:
  Source Reduction  Pays  Off

  in  PAYT  Programs

          bile it has been know for some time that PAYT pro-
        i grams help promote source reduction, the extent of
        _j that impact has been hard to measure. A new study
  provides encouraging evidence that this impact can be meas-
  ured and that it is significant.
     The study concludes that PAYT programs reduce landfill
  disposal by 16 to 17 percent annually, with approximately 6
  percent attributable to source reduction.
     According to EPA's standard hierarchy, source reduction is
  the preferred method of solid waste management. Source
  reduction has been more difficult to measure than other waste
  diversion methods because of the challenges involved in
  measuring the amount of waste people aren't generating.
  Skumatz Economic Research Associates, Inc. (SERA) conduct-
  ed a study that looks at ways to overcome these challenges.
    "Our firm already has a lot of experience measuring
  things—such as energy conservation—that 'didn't happen,'"
  said Dr. Lisa Skumatz, principal of SERA. "We therefore had
 a good idea what the best approaches would be." '
    A recent SERA study estimated that PAYT programs are
 available in more than 5,000 U.S. communities, so results
 from the source reduction study would have immediate, far-
 reaching implications.
    Based on the assumption that recycling,  composting, and
 source reduction are the three primary waste diversion routes,
 SERA used two methods to conduct its research. The first
 method, a cross-section analysis, tappedjnto SERA's database
 on waste management in more than 1,000 U.S. communities
 to evaluate PAYT impacts at a single point in time. The results
 show that average waste generation rates in PAYT communi-
 ties are 16.1 percent lower than in non-PAYT communities.
   The second method, a time-series analysis, applied statisti-
 cal techniques to data on waste generation from I960 to 1998
 to forecast waste disposal behavior. After controlling for
 demographics, this method shows that waste generation per
 person would have been 17.3 percent higher without PAYT.
 Subtracting results from similar recycling and composting
 equations, this method concludes that source reduction
 accounts for 5.8 percent of the waste decreased by PAYT.
 Because the two different methods generated similar results,
 the study shows that these are reliable techniques for measur-
 ing the impact of PAYT on source reduction.
   For a copy of the SERA report, Measuring Source
Reduction: PAYT/Variable Rates as an Example, contact Dr.
Lisa Skumatz of SERA at 303 494-1178 or visit SERA online
at .
                                                                                            PAYT  Bulletin  3

Videoconference  Promotes

PAYT  in  Pennsylvania

       ore than 100 recycling professionals participated in
      i Pennsylvania's PAYT videoconference featured in Lisa
«™,T_ Iskumatz of Skumatz Economic Research Associates and
local experts from three Pennsylvania municipalities who shared
their experiences with PAYT in a facilitated panel discussion.
Simultaneously broadcast on the Web by GreenWorks.TV, viewers
in at least six other states accessed the videoconference.
   Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) and the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania
(PROP), the videoconference introduced resources available to local
governments and the waste industry for developing PAYT pro-
grams. The Pennsylvania DEP and PROP  hosted the videoconfer-
ence to boost the number of PAYT programs in  the state, with the
goal of helping Pennsylvania increase the state recycling rate from
32,6 percent to 35 percent.
   "We have promoted PAYT as a way to  make the cost of dispos-
 ing waste more apparent, therefore, making some of the other alter-
 natives such as recycling and composting,  more desirable," said
 Greg Harder of the Pennsylvania DEP. "The number of PAYT pro-
 grams in Pennsylvania has increased from  125 to 211 in the past
   The videoconference can be viewed at   or a videotape is available     -^=-
 from PROP at 800 769-PROP. For more
 information about Pennsylvania's PAYT
 programs, contact Greg Harder of the
 Pennsylvania DEP at 717 787-7382 '
 or gharder@state.pa.us, or access
 the DEP Web site at
 "pay as you throw").
PAYT:  An Economic

Incentive for

Reducing  Pollution

  I n a newly released report, EPA evaluates the
   effect of PAYT programs and other incentive
_J programs on reducing pollution. The report
assesses hundreds of economic incentives for
reducing environmental pollution. PAYT is dis-
cussed as one of the many financial incentives
that are supplementing traditional regulatory
         The document reviews the different
          forms of variable-rate pricing and pro-
            vides a description of several vari-
             able-rate structures by communi-
             1 ty. It also  lists studies of commu-
             k nities where PAYT has been intro-
             duced and provides general guide-
 lines for introducing PAYT programs. The report
 concludes diat, in many cases, economic incen-
 tives such as PAYT result in greater benefits than
 traditional regulations for reducing pollution.
    A copy of the report, The United States
 Experience with Economic Incentives for
 Protecting the Environment, can be downloaded
 by visiting the Web
 site at  and link-
 ing to the report,
 located on the right-
 hand side of die page.
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