bu Throw

                         duction  to  EPA's
                             •YouThrow  Tool  Kit
                   More and more communities, looking for ways to better manage solid
                   waste, have found that pay-as-you-throw programs can make a tremen-
                   dous difference. Instead of being charged indirectly for trash services,
            residents under pay-as-you-throw programs pay a direct fee based on the amount
            of waste they generate.This creates an incentive for individuals to reduce and
            recycle, easing pressure on both municipal budgets and waste disposal facilities.
            Pay-as-you-throw programs represent a major shift in the way communities and
            their residents pay for solid waste collection and disposal.To be successful, a pay-
            as-you-throw program must be carefully considered, designed and implemented.
            This Pay-As-You-Throw Tool Kit contains a wide variety of useful products to help
            you through this process. It includes tools that will help with specific tasks, like
            conducting a public outreach campaign or designing your program's rate structure.
            It also offers resources to help you learn about pay-as-you-throw in general.This
            Tool Kit has been divided into several main categories to enable you to locate at a
            glance the specific tools you need.
                  Two important guidebooks have been developed that you can use to help
                  decide whether to adopt pay-as-you-throw and how to implement and
                  promote both pay-as-you-throw and other source reduction programs in
            your community.

            Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing
            This guide provides an in-depth introduction to pay-as-you-throw and explains
            how to get a program started. It describes the benefits and potential barriers to
            pay-as-you-throw programs, helps you determine what type of system is best for
            your community, and provides detailed instructions on how to design and imple-
            ment a successful program.The guide is based on proven, practical strategies from
            communities with pay-as-you-throw programs in place.

            The  Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste
            This guide contains a number of ideas about how to reduce and recycle many of
            the items residents often dispose of as trash. Since residents under pay-as-you-
            throw will want to learn how to reduce waste, these ideas can be incorporated
            into the products you develop as part of your outreach campaign.

      This supplement to Pay-As- You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing is a user-
      friendly, hands-on workbook. It focuses on some of the key steps involved in
      developing a pay-as-you-throw program, from convincing elected officials, resi-
dents, and other community stakeholders that pay-as-you-throw can work to designing
a rate structure. It is divided into five sections. Each section contains the tools you
need to research, design, promote, and implement a pay-as-you-throw program in
your community.

Presentation Materials
Planners can conduct a presentation for community stakeholders, such as elected
officials, other municipal employees, and representatives from local civic groups, to
help earn their  support for pay-as-you-throw.To help you deliver an effective briefing,
you can adapt and use the sample agenda, pre-meeting survey of attendees, set of
overhead transparency masters with talking points, and other presentation materials
included in this  section.

Public Outreach  Materials
A pay-as-you-throw program's success often depends on a strong public outreach and
education effort.To help you start developing your public outreach program, this sec-
tion includes a list of outreach ideas, fact sheets and other reproducible products, and
a set of clip art  to help you create your own customized outreach materials.

A set of worksheets also are included in this workbookThese worksheets can be used
to guide you through each of the major steps involved in pay-as-you-throw program
development, from deciding if pay-as-you-throw is right for your community to imple-
menting and monitoring the program.

Articles and Newsclippings
This section contains a set of articles to provide you with background information
on pay-as-you-throw and how other communities have planned for and developed
pay-as-you-throw programs. In addition, once you begin your public outreach program,
you can add press clippings to this section to track coverage in the local media.

Turn to this section if you are interested in doing further research on pay-as-you-throw.
It includes an annotated bibliography listing over 50 recent pay-as-you-throw publica-
tions, from articles in solid waste trade magazines to reports from universities and
private institutions.You can also use this section to organize any additional publication
resources you find during your research.

        ^^^™wo recently developed electronic tools are included in this section that you can
           I  use to plan out a pay-as-you-throw program.These software packages can help
           I  you perform the calculations involved in rate structure design and learn more
        about source reduction, recycling, and other solid waste management issues in general.

        Pay-As-You-Throw Rates Model
        This comprehensive software has been designed specifically for MSW planners to use
        in calculating the costs of a community's pay-as-you-throw program and arriving at the
        optimal per-container fee. It allows users to enter choices relating to key pay-as-you-
        throw program development variables like container types and sizes and complemen-
        tary programs. It then totals all of the resulting costs and helps planners assign prices
        to their containers that will allow them to cover these expenses completely.

        MSW Factbook
        This electronic reference manual contains more than 200 screens of useful facts, fig-
        ures, tables and information about municipal solid waste. Covering an expansive range
        of topics, including waste generation, source reduction, recycling, landfills, and Subtitle D
        regulations, this software can serve as a valuable information resource for planning and
        implementing a pay-as-you-throw program.

              The videotape included in this section can be used to increase the impact of brief-
              ings for elected officials, presentations at town meetings, and other pay-as-you-
              throw events. Depending on the type of presentation and your audience, you can
        run the entire video or just the sections that will help you make your case.

        East Central Iowa Council of Governments
        Unit Pricing Video
        This 30-minute video provides a clear, comprehensive summary of the central concepts
        of unit pricing. Focusing on six communities in Iowa that have implemented pay-as-you-
        throw programs.it uses interviews with elected officials and residents, solid waste
        experts, and economists to describe the economic and environmental benefits of pay-
        as-you-throw.The video also shows how these case study communities were able to
        overcome  potential barriers and implement successful pay-as-you-throw programs.

                                                        s  You  Throw
EPA's Pay-As-You-Throw Tool Kit

EPA is pleased to present its Pay-As-You-Throw Tool Kit. Throughout the final stages of the Tool Kit's develop-
ment, we have been aware of the need to release it promptly to you and the hundreds of others that have
already requested copies. We appreciate your patience and hope you find the Tool Kit helpful.
For the past two years, EPA's Office of Solid Waste has led a national initiative to promote an approach to
municipal solid waste (MSW) management called pay-as-you-throw. Under pay-as-you-throw (also known as
unit pricing) programs, households are charged for waste collection based on the amount of trash they
throw away— in the same way they are charged for water, electricity, and other utilities.  This gives residents
a direct incentive to reduce the amount of waste they generate.  To date, close to 2,000 communities
nationwide have turned to these systems to help reduce waste and control MSW management costs.

At the heart of EPA's outreach initiative is  a simple idea: communities considering pay-as-you-throw need
answers to critical questions about how these programs work— and it's the communities that have success-
fully adopted a program of their own that  can best provide the answers. In an effort to tap into this
expertise,  EPA organized a roundtable discussion bringing MSW practitioners together to discuss the
strategies they used in their communities.  The guide Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing, a
comfrtets primer on designing and implementing these systems, was a product of the roundtable meetings.
    has since organized other events, including a series of workshops connecting pioneering community
with planners trying to learn more about pay^as-y^iFthrow and a satellite teleconference discussion with
several program experts and community practitioners. A demonstration project also is underway designed
to study the factors Influencing the success of the pay-as-you-throw program in Marietta, Georgia.
Through each of these projects, EPA has sought to inform communities about the full range of options and
best practices: to consider when deciding whether and how to implement pay-as-you-throw.

Over the course of this outreach, EPA has learned a tremendous amount about how these programs
work,  fferhaps the biggest lesson is that there is no one "right" way to implement psy-as-you-throw, just
as tfXfre is W Single compelling J-eason for communities to adopt this type of program.  Every community


has a different story to tell, and a different lesson to teach. Some important trends have emerged, howev-
er.  Nearly att communities have experienced three specific types of benefits as a result of adopting pay-as-

        It's economically sustainable. Pay-as-you-throw is an effective tool for communities struggling to
        cope with soaring MSW management costs. WelWesigned programs enable communities to gen*
        erate the revenues they need to cover all MSW program costs, including the costs of such comple-
        mentary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too. Communities with pay-as-
        you-throw have told EPA that residents often welcome the opportunity to take control of their
        trash hilt.

        It's envinntnematly sustainable. Because of the incentive it provides residents to put less waste
        at the curb, communities with programs in place have reported significant increases in recycling
        and reductions in waste amounts ranging from 25 to 45 percent, on average.  Less waste and
        more recycling means that fewer natural resources need to be extracted.

        Ws fair. Communities also have told us that the most important advantage of all may be the fair-
        ness pay-as-you-throw offers to community residents. When the cost of managing trash is hidden
        in taxes, or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste end up subsidizing
        their neighbors'  wastefulness. Under this kind of program, residents pay only for what they throw

The Tool Kit you have just received is based on lessons like these, offered by the pioneering communities
that have implemented and perfected pay-as-you-throw systems.  EPA is proud to present this compendium
of real-world information as a way to give communities access to the experts—to learn from their trials and
triumphs in the search for economically and environmentally sustainable solutions to today's solid waste
management  challenges.

EPA's pay-as-you-throw outreach initiative is ongoing. As more artd more communities Introduce their own
programs, new and better practices are sure to emerge. 0W> hopes to continue its role as an outreach
clearinghouse, enhancing communities' ability to share and use critical information about pay-as-you-throw.
If you would like to order additional copies of this Too) Kit or request further Information about pay-&s-
you-throw programs, please call the Pay-As-You-Throw Helpline toll-free at 1-88tMcffe4feYT.

Sincerely,      ^

Jan Canterbury         ^y

  Lessons Learned
About Unit Pricing

  The Consumer's
     Handbook for
      Solid Waste
' \^A

United States        EPA530-K-92-003
Environmental Protection  August 1992
Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OS-305)

The Consumer's

Handbook for

Reducing  Solid Waste
  Printed on paper that contains at least 50 percent recycled fiber.

The  Cat's  Out of the  Bag
                                • Reuse4
                   Recvclc  • Respond
   This booklet describes how people ran help solve a ^rowini> prob-
 lem...i;arbai;e! Individual < onsumers < an lu-lp alleviate America's
 mounting trash problem In making cnviionmentallv awaie derisions
 ahoul ever vdav things like shopping and ( arint; for the lawn. Like
 the stoi v that savs rals ha\e nine li\cs, so do mam ol the items we use
 ever\- da\. 1- ni])I\  (<• naiisloi nu-d into a bird feeder.
 1  \ entuallv, the milk jiii^ i an be i ei \< lc
       The  Problem  Is  Too
                 Much  Trash
  Kach vear, Americans generate
millions of tons of trash in the form
of wrappings, bottles, boxes, cans.
grass dippings, furniture, clothing,
phone books, and much, much,
more. Over the years, we have got-
ten used to "throwing it awav." so
it's easy to understand why now
there's too much trash and not
enough acceptable places to put it.
  In less than 30 years, durable
goods (tires, appliances, furniture)
and nondurable goods (paper, cei-
tain disposable products, clothing)
in the solid waste stream nearly
tripled. These now account for
about 75 million tons of garbage
per year. At the same time, con-
tainer and packaging waste rose
to almost 57 million tons per vear,
making packaging the number one
component of the nation's waste
stream. Container and packaging
material includes glass, aluminum,
plastics, steel and other metals, and
paper and paperboard. Yard trim-
mings such as grass clippings and
tree limbs are also a substantial part
ol what we throw awav. In addition,
many relatively small components
of the national solid waste stream
add up to millions of tons. For
example, even 1 percent of the
nation's waste stream amounts
to almost 2 million tons ol trash
each vear.

Source Reduction:
A Basic Solution
  As a nation, we are starting to
reali/e that we can't solve the solid
waste dilemma just bv finding new
places to put trash. Across the coun-
trv. main individuals, communities,
and businesses have found creative
ways to reduce and better manage
their trash through a coordinated
mix of practices that includes
source reduction (see box on
page 4).
  Simply put, source reduction is
waste prevention. It includes many

                    What*s In America's Trash?
     Vinl 11 iiiimin;.;s. 1 ,  i
        .' I , million ions
                                                           IM.lMics. S.I)1,
                                                           I I.I million ions
                   Total Weight = 179.6 Million Tons
                                                              Olhci. II. I/,
                                                             20.8 million tons
                                                                 iiililk'i. Ifdl/ti-t.
                                                            miscellaneous i
                                                          '_' million tons
actions that reduce the
amount or loxicitv of'waste created.
Source reduction can COIIMM \v
resources, reduce pollution, and
help cut waste disposal and han-
dling costs (it avoids the costs <>l
lecvcling, composting, landlllling.
and comhusiion).
  Source reduction is a basic solu-
tion to the garbage glut: less waste
means less ol a waste problem.
Because source reduction actualh
prevents the gcneiation of waste
in the lit si placi-, it comes before
other management options that
deal with  trash after it is alreadv
generated. After source reduction.
recycling  (and composting) are
the preferred waste management
options because thcv reduce the

Integrated Waste Management
  Integrated waste management refers K» the complementary use of
a vai iet\ of practices It) safcK .UK! effec lively handle niiinicipal solid
waste. I'hi1 following is  KI'A's preferred hiciari hv ol approaches.
1.   Source reduction is tin- design, manufacture, purchase, or us.
    ol materials (such as prodiu is and packaging) to reduce the
    amount or to\icii\ of  trash generated. Source reduction can
    help reduce waste disposal and handling costs because ii avoids
    the costs ol iec vcling. municipal composting, landfilling. and
    combustion,  ll also consei \es resources and reduces pollution.
2.   Recycling is the process bv which mate-rials are collected and
    used as raw materials  lor new products. Theie aie four steps in
    recycling: collecting the recyclable components of municipal
    solid waste, separating materials In  tvpe (before or attei  c ollec-
    tion),  processing diem into reusable forms, and purchasing
    and using tbe goods made with reprocessed materials. Recvcli:
    prevents poteniialK useful materials from being landfilled or
    combusted, thus preserving our capacity for disposal. Recu ling
    often sa\i-s energ\ and natural resources. Composting, a form
    of rccu ling,  can play  a kev role in diverting organic wastes from
    disposal facilitii
3.   Waste  combustion and landfilling pla\ a ke\  role- in managing
amount of waste going to landfills
and i onserxe resources.

Making Source
Reduction Work
  Putting source reduction into
practice is likely to require some
change in our dailv routines.
(  hanging habits does not mean a
return to a more difficult lifestyle.
however. In fact, just  the opposite
ma\ happen. If  we don't reduce
waste, the economic  and social costs
of" waste disposal will continue to
increase, and communities—large
and small, urban and suburban-
  ill face increasingly harder deci-
sions about managing their trash.
  All parts of society need to work
together to change current patterns
of waste generation and disposal.
fhe federal government develops
and provides information and looks
tor incentives to create less waste. It
also helps communities plan and
carry out source reduction mea-
sures. State, local, and tribal
gou-i nments can create the most
appropriate source reduction mea-
sures for their areas.  For example.
some communities already are
using lee systems that require
households and businesses to pay
lor trash disposal based on the
amount they toss out.
   Large c onsumers—manufac-
turers,  retailers, restaurants,  hotels.
schools, and governments—can
prevent waste in a variety of ways,
including using products that cre-
ate less trash. Manufacturers also
can design products that  use fewer
ha/ardous components, require
less packaging, arc- recyclable, use
icevcled mate-rials, and result in
less waste when thev are no longer
   Individuals can evaluate their
daily waste-producing activities to
determine those that are essential
(such as choosing medicines and
foods packaged for safety and
health), and those that are not
(such as throwing away glass or
plastic  jars that could be-  re-used or
locally  recycled). This booklet sug-
gests manv practices that reduce
waste or help manage it more efle<
tivelv. Adopt those that are right for
you and add others that you  think

oi yourself.  Discuss vour ideas with
neighbors, businesses, and other
members of vour communitv It's
important to remember that all
actions will have some effect on  the
emironment. If reusable products
                           nerd to be washed, for example.
                           tlu-re mav be- an increase in water
                           use. Individual consumers, however.
                           ran substantially rednee  solid waste-
                           by following tlu-se basic principles:
         REDUCE the amount of "trash discarded.
         REUSE containers and products.
RECYCLE, use recycled materials, and composi.

RESPOND to the solid \\aste dilemma by reconsidering
waste-producing activities and bv expressing preferem es
for Ic-ss waste.

     Tips  £>r  Reducing
 1. Reduce the amount of
   unnecessary packaging.
 1J. Adopt practices that
   reduce waste toxic it\.
 .''). Consider reusable products.
 1. Maintain and repair durable
 f>. Reuse bags, containers, and
   other items.
 I). Borrow, rent, or share items
   used infrequently.
 7. Sell or donate goods instead
   of throwing them out.
 8. Choose- recyclable products and
   containers and recycle them.
 9. Select products made from
   recycled mate-rials.
 10. Compost yard trimmings
   and some- food scraps.
 1 1. Educate others on source reduction
   and recycling practices. Make-your
   preference's known to manufactur-
   ers, merchants, and community
 12. Be creative—find new ways to reduce
   waste quantity and to\icit\.

 Reduce  the amount of
unnecessary packaging.
                            am c
  Packaging serves main purposes. Its primal
pose is to protect and contain a product. It als
prevent tampering, provide information, and
serve hygienic integritv and freshness. Some
packaging, however, is designed largely in enli
a product's attractiveness or prominence on the
store shelf. Since packaging materials account fora
large volume of the trash \\e geneiale, tlie\ provide
a good opportunity for reducing wasie. In addition,
keep in mind that as the amount of product in
,i container increases, the packaging \\astc per
serving or use1 usually decreases.
  • When choosing between two similar prodm Is
    select the one with the least unnecessar
  • Remember that wrenches, sciewdrivcrs, nails,
    and other hardwaie are often available in loose
    bins. At the grocerv. c onsidcr whether it is necessarv (o purchase ilems MK li
    as tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms in prepackaged containers when the\
    tan be bough I nupax k.iged.
  • When appropriate, use products \ou alread\ have on hand to do household
    chores (see Appendix A). I sing these products can save on the packaging
    associated with additional products.
  • Recogni/e and support store managers when they stock products with no
    packaging or reduced packaging. 1 .et c lerks know when it's not necessary to
    double wrap a purchase.
  • Consider large or cconomy-si/c items for household products that are used
    trecjuentlv, such as laundrv soap, shampoo, baking soda, pet foods, and cat
    litter.  These sixes usually have less packaging per unit of product. For food
    ilems, choose' the laigest si/e that can be used before spoiling.
  • Consider whether concentrated  piodut is are appropriate lor your needs.
    The\ often require less packaging and less energy to transport to the store,
    saving money .is well as naiui al rcsoun es.
  * Whenever possible, select grocei v. hardware, and household items thai art-
    available in bulk. Bulk merchandise also mav be shared with friends or
  • It is important to choose  food servings that  are appropriate to vour needs.
    ()ne altei native to single food servings is to choose the next largest  sei v ing
    and store am leftovers in a reusable container.

       Adopt  practices that  reduce

                     waste toxicity.

   In addition to reducing tin- ammml of matci i.iK in thr solid waste- slrrani,
reducing waste toxicitv is another important t omponcni of source re-due lion.
Some jobs around ihr home inav require tlir usr of products containing ha/-
ardous components. Nevertheless. t<>\i< itv reduction can lie achieved l>\ following
     simple guidelines.
    Like actions thai use nonha/ardous or less ha/ardous «ini])onents io
    a< 11 miplish the task at hand. Kxamples include choosing reduced nuTcurv
    batteries, or planting marigolds in the garden to ward off < ei tain pests rather
    than using pesticides. In some cases vou inav be- using less toxic chemicals to
    do a job and in others \ou ma\ use some- phvsic al method, such .is sandpaper,
    scouring pads, or just a little- more elbou grease, to achieve the same results.
    Learn about altci "natives to household items containing ha/ardous
    substances. In some' cases, produc is ih.it you ha\c around the house can
    be- used to do the same' job as products with ha/ardous components. (Sec-
    Appendix A or check with local libraries or bookstore's for guidebooks on
    nonhazardous house-hold practices, i
    If you do need to use- products with ha/ardous components, use- onlv the
    amounts needed. I.elto\ei materials ( an be shared with neighbors or
    donated to a business, e liar itv or gou-rnment agency, or, in the case- of used
                                       motor oil, rec\cled at a participating
                                       ser\ice station. Never put leftover
                                       products with ha/ardous components
                                       in lood or bc\erage containers.
                                     1 For produc is containing ha/ardous
                                       components, read and follow all
                                       direc tions on product labels. Make
                                       sure- the- containers are alwavs
                                       labelled properly and stored safely
                                       awa\ from children and pets. When
                                       vou are finished with containers that
                                       aie  partially full, follow local
                                       community polic\ on house-hold
                                       ha/ardous waste- disposal (see box
                                       on "Household Ha/ardous Waste
                                       Collection" on the- ne-xi page). If at
                                       any time you have questions about
                                       potentialh ha/ardous ingredie-nts in
                                       products and their impacts on human
                                       health, do not hesitate to call vour
                                       loe al poison control centci.

       Household Hazardous Waste Collection

   l-Oi lei lover products ( on lain ing hu/aidons components, check with
tlic local environmental agcncv or ('.hambcr of (^onnncrce to sec il tin-re-
al r an\ designated davs in vour area for collection ol waste materials such
as leftover painls, pestit ides, soKents, and batteries. ()n such davs. (nulli-
fied professionals collect household ha/ardous wastes ,\\ a centr.il location
t« > ensure sale management and disposal. Sonic ( < Mtimnnitics ha\e |>ei nia-
nent household ha/ardous waste collection  facilities that accept wastes
\eat-K >und. Some (ollections also include exchanges of paints, solvents,
< ei lain prstii ulrs. < leaning and automoti\e products, and other materials.
Kxchanges allow materials to he used In someone else, rathci  than heing
thrown awa\-.

    Consider reusable  products.

                                        Main products arc designed lo
                                     be used more iluui once. Reusable
                                     piodiu is and (oiitaineisoften
                                     result in less waste. This helps
                                     reduce die < ost <>f managing solid
                                     \\.isie and often consci \rs materials
                                     and resources. I Remember, reus-
                                     able containers tor lood must be
                                     caielulh (leaned to ensure proper
                                        " A siurdv mug or dip can be
                                         washed and used time and
                                         again. Main people bring their
                                         own mugs to work, meetings.
                                         and coiilerciu es.
                                        • Sturdy and washable utensils
                                         and tableware < an be used at
                                         home and tor pii nics. ouldooi
                                         ))arties. and potlucks.
                                        • At wot k.  see it "recharged"
                                         ( artridges lor laser pi inteis.
                                         < opiers. and tax machines are
                                         available. The\ not only reduce
                                         waste, but also upkallv save
                                        • Cloth napkins, sponges.  01
                                         dishcloths can be used around
                                         the bouse. These can be
                                         washed over and over again
• Look lor items that are available in reiillable (ontainers. Foi example, some
 bottles and jugs loi beverages and detergents are made to be iclilled and
 reused, eiihei b\ the < onsumer or the nianutac liner
• \\heu possible, us.- K-. liargeable battei ies to help reduce garbage and to
 keep toxic metals found in some batteries out of the waste stream. Another
 alternative is to look  for batteries with reduced toxic metals.
 When using single-use items, remember to take onl\ what is needed. For
 example, take onh one napkin or ketchup packet it more are not needed.
  Vmemhei. if \oiir goal is to i educe solid waste, think about reusables.

               Maintain and repair
                 durable products.
   II maintained and repaired propcih.
products sue li as long-wearing clothing,
tires, and appliances arc- less likelv to wear
out 01 break and will not have to he-
thrown out and replaced .is frequently.
Although durable products soinelimes
cost more iuitialK, their extended life
span iua\ <>tlset the higher cost and
e\cn save monc\ o\ei the long term.
   • ('.onsider long-lasting appliances
    and electronic equipment with good
    w.u ramies. (:heck reports for pro-
    ducts with a record of high consumer
    satisfaction and low breakdown rates.
    Also, look for those products that aie
    easily repaired.
   • Keep appliances in good working
    order. Follow manufacturers'
    suggestions for proper operation
    and maintenance. Manufacturers'
    service departments may have-
    toll-free numbers; phone
    toll-free directoi \ assistance
    at 1-800-555-1212 to find out.
   • High-quality, long-lasting tires foi
    cars, bicvcles. and olhei vehicles are
    available. Using them reduces the rate .it which tires are replaced and
    disposed of. Also, to extend tire life, check tire pressmc once a month, follow
    the manufacturer's recommendations tor upkeep, and rotate tires routinelv.
    In addition, retread and remanufactured tires can reduce tire waste.
   • Mend clothes instead of throwing them aw.iv \Vhei e possible, repair worn
    shoes, boots, handbags, and briefcases.
   • Whenever intended for use over a long period of time, choose- turn it me.
    luggage, sporting goods, toys, and tools that will stand up to vigorous use.
   • Consider using low-energy fluorescent light bulbs rather than incandescent
    ones. They'll last longer, which means fewer bulbs are thrown out, and cost
    less to replace over time.

            Reuse  bags,  containers,

                   and other items.

   Main e\e-r\da\ items can have- more than
one use. He-lore- discarding bags. (ontaineis.
and other items, consider it it is hvgie-nic and
practical to reuse diem. Reusing products
cxte-nds their lives, keeping them out of the
solid \\asie siieam longer. Adopt the ideas that
work foi \ou. add some of vour own, and then
 hallenge others in vour school, office, and
, omnnmilv to trv the-se ideas and to come- u|>
with otlieis.
   • Reuse paper and plastic bags and l\\ist
    lies.  II it's practical, keep .1 supplv ol'bags
    on hand to use on the next shopping
    trip. 01 take a string,  mesh, or canvas tote
    bag lo the store. \Vhen a reusable bag is
    not on hand and onl\ one or two items arc
    being purchased,  consider whether von need a bag at all
   • Reuse sc tap paper and em elopes. I'se both sides of a piec e ol paper lor
    writing notes bc-loie i ecu ling it. Sa\e and reuse- gill boxes, ribbons, and
    larger pieces of wrapping and tissue- paper. Sa\e packaging, colored paper.
    egg c.u tons, and olher items lor reuse 01 for arts and crafis projet is at da\-
    < are lacilities. si hools. \oulh lac ilitic-s. and senior cili/en cc-nteis. Find other
    uses or homes lor old draperies, bedding, clothing, towels, and cotton
    diapers. Then cut  up what's led lor use as patchwork, rags, doll clothes.
    rag rugs, or oilier projects.
   • Reuse- ncwxpapei.  boxes, packaging "peanuts." and "bubble- wrap" to ship
    package's.  Brown papei bags ate e-xce-llenl for wrapping parcels.
   • Wash and reuse- einpu glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, i oitee ( ans. daii v tubs.
    and other similai  coniaine-rs ilial otherwise get thrown oul. I hese containers
    can be used to stoic-  lelio\eis as well as buttons, nails, and thumbtacks. An
    empl\ iollee ( an makes a line  (lower pot.
   • Turn used lumber into birdhotise-s, mailboxes, compost bins, or ollier
    \\< icdworking projec'is.
   ( \l I H )\:  Do not  re-use- containers dial oi'iginallv he-Id products sue h as
motor oil or pesticides. These- containers and their potentialK harmful ic-sidia-s
should be dist ai (led (following manufacturers' instructions on the labe-l) as soon
as then are empt\. When \ou no longer have- a use for a lull or partiallv lull con-
tainer,  take- it to a eommunitv house-hold ha/ardoiis uaste (ollee lion. Also. m-\ei
stoic amthing polenti.illv harmlul in containe-rs designe-d for food 01 bexei.i
.\lwa\s labe-l containers and stoic them out ol the- reach of children and pe-ts.

      Borrow,  rent,  or share  items

                used infrequently.

  Seldom-used items, like certain posset tools and pai t\ goods, often ( olle< I dusl,
rust, take up valuable storage spare, and ultitnatclv end up in the trash. Consider
renting or borrowing these items the next time thevYe needed. lull equcnth used
items also might he shared among neighbors, friends. 01 latniK. Boi rowing, icnt-
 ing. 01 sharing items saves both moiiev and natural resources.
      • Rt in 01 bornnv parts' decorations and supplies such a> tables, chairs,
         ( enierpieces, linens, dishes, and silver\vaie.
          • Rent or borrow seldom-used audios isual e<|uipmen[.
             • Rent 01 borrow tools such as ladders, chain saws, floor hulk i s.
                        i'ujf cleaners,  and »arden tillers. In  .ipai tment
                        buildings or co-ops, lesidents can pool resources
 v     N.    Xx**^ \\^v a°d form "banks" to share tools or  other equipment
  ^NW   ^^^TOv^ fL/    used or needed infre(|uentl\. In addition, some
      X.^    \\t^f\      communities have "tool libraries" where residents
      ^^^t IJ^R.'        ' •») bonou equipment as needed.
          v    /Ab\  \   • Before discarding old tools, camera equipment,
                             or other goods, ask friends, relatives.
                              neighbors, or community groups if the) can
                                use them.
                                 • Share newspapers and maga/ines with
                                    others to extend the lives of these
                                      items and reduce the generation
                                        of waste paper.

      Sell or donate  goods  instead
            of throwing them  out.
  <)nc | MM siin\ I rash is another prison's treasure. Instead <>l discarding;
unwanted appliances. took, or (lollies. n\ selling or donating them. Opting loi
used and "irregular" items is anodici IM >od \v.i\ to  pi act ice SOUK e reduction. Such
prodiu Is aie often less expensive than neu ot "fii si-qnalitv" items, and tisini; them
will  keep them from being thrown awa\.
  • Donate or resell items to thrift stoics 01 oilier  oi^ani/ations in need. Donors
    sometimes receive tax. deductions i >i e\en cash. These or^ani/alions i\pi( all\
    lake e\(M \llnni; from clollies and textiles i< > appliances and furniture. All
    should he i lean and of respectahle <|iialil\.
  • Sell secondhand items al lairs, ha/aai •>. s\\ap meets, and t;ai ai;e sales.
  • (.i\e hand-me-do\Mi (lollies to lamih nuMiihei s. neighboring families, or (he
    need\. Consider a«|uirini; used (lothin<4 at tin ill or consignment shops. I he
    condition of used clothing in these stores is st u-ened: « lollies are t\|)icall\
    laundered and cannot ha\e teal's oi siains.
  • ( oiisider conducting a food or clothing drive to help others, \\heie
    appropriate, encoiua^e area merchanis to donate damaged »oods or food
    items dial aie still edihlc to food hanks, shelteis. and other groups that ( ar<-
    for the needv

   Choose  recyclable products  and

      containers and  recycle them^,

   When YOU vi' done all von can to axoid
waste, recycle. Producing goods lioni recy-
cled materials tvpicallv consumes less
energy and consrr\cs raw materials. Yri.
our landfills ate parked with mam  pac k-
agcs and products that can be let u led.
   ( onsider products made oi mateiials
    that are collected for recu ling
    loially: in main communities, this
    includes glass, aluminum, steel, some
    paper and cardboard, and certain
    plasms. Check with appropriate
   community offn iaK \olunteei
   groups, or recAcling businesses
    to determine what matei ials are
   collected for recycling. If a svstem
    is not in place to  lelurn a certain tvpe
   <>l material, that material is not easily "rccu lahl'e."
  • Participate in cominimii\ iec vcling drives, curbside programs, and drop-oil
   collections. Call community officials, the local in \eling ceutei. or .1 neai h\
   iet \clin_y business to find out if and how materials should be separated, hu
   e\ani|)le. SUIIK- communities require that 
                  The Degradables Debate
   One- <>f tin- hiuoesi debates in solid uasie lias ( entcied on t l.iinis that
certain products siu h .IN sonic plastic bai^s. paper products, and other
iM.ods .n't- deoi.ulalile. Aie such products helpful in soKin^ ilu- solid waste
dilemma? Do tlie\ sa\e  landfill spat e:

   In truth, deijiadalion oc< ins ver\ slowlv in modem landfills. Sunlight
can't penetrate, so photodegradation can't (><•( in. Furthermore. research-
ers have unearthed cabbages. carrots, and readable newspapers (hat lu\<
been in landfills lot :;n \C.HS 01  moie. It is unlikeK  that products marketed
as des;radahlf would achieve heller results. K\en if  biode^iadable prod-
ucts do pertot in exacth  as llte\  aie supjjosed to, thev still list-
up resources that could  be  reel, timed tlnon^h tecvcling.
   Biodegradabilit) of naimal matt-rials such as lawn trimmini>s and
some foods does ha\c a  plate in solid waste management. I'hal |.)lac<- is
composting (sec ti|> #10). Whether in the bai k\ard or in coinmunit\ facili-
ties. composting can take ad\. intake of det;radabilil\. 1 his is nalure's \\a\
of ret \t lino ot<;anit material into humus that emit lies soil and leturns
nutrients to the earth.


1. The life
of a peanut
butter jar begins
on the supermarket
shelf, filled with your
favorite brand. When emptied
and cleaned out, you and
your family can use it in
many practical ways.


2. It's a perfect container for displaying
a prized marble collection.
      9. When you collect too many
      peanut butter jars, be sure to
      recycle the extras. They may
      be used to manufacture new
      peanut butter jars or other
                  8. Then use it to show
                  off the beautiful flowers
                  you picked for the
                  dinner table when the
                  fishing is done.

                                                                       4. And to mix a batch
                                                                       of concentrated juice.
                             3. It can be used to
                             store leftovers...
                                                       5. It can be taken back
                                                       to the store to buy
                                                       foods in bulk, such as
                                                       honey,  maple syrup,
                                                       and even more peanut
7. Take the jar on your
next fishing trip to
carry live bait.
                          6. The jars also make
                          great cookie cutters.

       Select products made  from

                recycled  materials.

  Participating in a local or regional recvcling program is onlv pan ol the iee\-
( lint; process. For rec \cling to succeed, recyclable materials iniisi he proc essed
into new products, and those products must be purchased and used,

  • Look for items in packages and c imiaincrs made of rccv< led materials. Manv
    bottles, cans, paper wrappings, hags, cereal bo\<-s. and othci cartons and
    packages are made from recycled materials.

  • I'se produe is uith leeuled content whenevei von can. For instance, main
    paper, glass, metal, and plastic products contain recovered materials. Some
    examples are siationei \. wrapping paper, computer paper, and main
    containers. Manv of these items are available in gioi er\. drug, and other
    retail stoi es. Mail-order catalogues, stationers, and print shops also ma\ stock
    these- and other rec u led items.

  • \\hen checking products for rcc\i led content, look lot a statement that
    i ecu led materials were used and, it possible-, choose the item with the largest
    percentage ol ice u led conlenl, if known. Yon can also call diivcioi \
    assistance at 1-SOo V..V1212 to obtain manufacturers' SOO numbeis [o Jnul
    out how much rec w led material their products contain.
  • Encouiage- state- and  local government agencies, local businesses, and others
    to purchase rec vclcd products such as paper, le-ieiine-d oil. and retread dies.
    For the federal go\ernment. guidelines alrcad\ exist that mandate' the
    purchase of these- and otln i pioducts.

          Reducing Unwanted Advertising Mail

   Each veai, millions of Americans make OIK- or more pun liases through
tlir mail.  When people make these mail-order purchases, their names
often are added to a list and marketed to other companies that do busi-
ness through the mail. While inanv people eujov the catalogues thev
ic( eive as a result of these lists, those who would like to receive 1<
national advertising mail can ask companies not to rent or share theii
names with other mailers. People who choose not to shop at home can
also write to:
  Mail Preference Service
  Direct Marketing Association
  P.O. Box 9008
  Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

  The Mail Preference Service is a no-charge service that removes names
from main national mailing lists.  Individuals who would like to use this
service are requested to provide their names and addresses (including /ip
( ode), and any spelling variations ilu-v have noticed on mailing labels,
to the Mail Preference Service.
  It may take a few months before there is a noticeable decrease in the
amount of national advertising mail delivered. In addition, local adveitis-
ing  mail, such as store flyers, will not be affected. In these cases, people
can write directly to the mailer and request that  their names be removed
from the mailing list.
  To  keep voui name off
unwanted mailing lists, contact
mail-order companies (and other
organizations) to let them know
that \ou do not want your name
and address shared with other
businesses and organizations. Iii
ihis wav. \ou can still order bv
mail and belong to charitable
organi/anons without woi rving
that the amount of unsolicited
mail von receive' will increase.

          Compost yard trimmings

            and some  food  scraps.

  H.u k\ard composting of certain food scraps and yard trimmings can
siguificantlv reduce the amount ol waste that needs to he managed In the- local
government or put in a landfill. When properlv composted, these waste's can he
turned into natural soil additives lor use on lawns and gardens, and used as pot-
ting soil for house plants.  Finished compost can impro\e soil texture-, increase (In-
ability of the soil to absorb air and water, suppress need giowth. decrease eiosion.
and reduce (he need to applv commercial soil additives.
  • Learn  how to compost lood scraps and vard trimmings (sec- the guidelines on
    lhe next  page i. For more information, consult reference materials on
    composting, or check with  local environmental, agricultural, 01 park sc-i \ic c-s.
    ( oniposting foods in highh populated areas is noi recommended because it
    c an attract rodents and other pests.
  • Participate in local or regional programs thai collect compostable materials.
    If no program is in place, contact public officials and community leadeis
    about  setting one- up.
  • If there's in,  loom lor a compost pile, oltei coinpostable materials to
    c i iimmmitx composting programs or garden pi < >je< is neai vou.
  • II'you have a \arcl. allow mown grass clippings K> lemain on the lawn to
    decompose- and i eiuni nutrients hack to the soil, rather than bagging and
    disposing of them.

                      Composting Is Easy!

  A compost pile can he- set up in a corner of the \ard with lew supplies.
Choose a le\cl spol .ihoiii 3-tO .VI eel square nrai .1 water SOUK e and pielei-
ably out of direct sunlight. ( le.u  the area of sod and grass. When building ,i
compi >sting  bin, such as with chicken wire, scrap wood, or cinder blocks, be
sure to leave enough spa< e l< >i .111 to reach the pile. One removable side
makes  it easiei to tend  the pile.
  Many foods can be composted, including vegetable trimmings, <
shells, coffee grounds with  tillers, and tea bags. In addition to lea\es. gi .INS.
and yard clippings, vacuum < leaner lint, wool and cotton  i ags. sawdust.
shredded newspaper, and fireplace ashes can  be composted. DO  NOT
compost meats. dair\ foods. 01 am t.us, oil, or grease because- the\ can
aurac t  pexis.
  Start the  pile- with a  l-iiu h laver of leaves, loose soil, or olhei < oai se \ard
n immings. If you are going to compost food scraps la slightlv more
involved pioc ess>. \ou should mix them with \ard trimmings when adding
them to the  pile. Alfalfa meal or clean cat liner tnav be added to  the pile to
absorb odors. In di \  weather, sprinkle water on the pile, but don't get it too
s<>ggv-  Ini n  the pile everv lew weeks with a  pitchfork Jo circulate air and
distribute moisture evenh.  Don't be surprised by the heat ol the pile or if
you see worms, both  ol which are part of the decomposition process. Make
sure children do not play in the < omposting pile or bin.
  In most climates, die < ompost is done in 3 to (i months when it becomes
a dark  crumblv material that is uniform in texture. Spread it in the garden
or vard beds or under the sin ubbei \.  The ( omposi also ( an lie used as
[Kitting soil.

       Educate  others on source

reduction and recycling practices.

 Make your preferences known  to

      manufacturers, merchants,

        and  community leaders.

                       Shan- information about source reduction. i en-
                      ding, and composting with othei v
                      Spie.ul the word to family, friends, neighbors.
                      local businesses, and decision-makers. Kncouiagc
                      them in learn more about solid waste issues and
                      to work toward implementing and promoting
                      SOUK e ledm lion, rec\cling. and t omposiing. Ue
                      all have the power to influence others and help
                      create the upc <>l world in which we want to li\e.
                        • Consider writing lo i 
    Be creative — find new ways to

reduce waste quantity and  toxicity.

  I heie .lit- manv ways lo reduce tlic amount and the toxic m ol solid waste. By
thinking creatively, inanv new uses for common items and new possibilities for
source reduction and recycling can be discovered. Here are just a few ideas. Now,
I! \ Mime ol'vour own!
  • Turn a giant cardboard box into
    a child's playhouse.
  •Transform a plastic ice cream
    tub into a flower pot.
  • Give pet hamsters or get bils paper
    towel and toilet paper cardboard
    tubes with which to plav. I Tse an
    egg carton  to plant seedlings.
  • Turn used tires (not steel-belted)
    into children's swings or other
    playground equipment.
  • Select nontoxic inks
    and art supplies.
  • Combine source reduction
    techniques. For example,
    trv storing  coffee bought in
    bulk in empty colfee cans.
  • Choose beverages Mich
    as \\ater or milk in
    reusable containers,
    where appropriate.
  • Place an order through the mail
    willi .1 group of people in
    order to save money and
    reduce packaging waste.

   It's l;ir hettci to rcdiK c the loxiciu .nul amount of solid \\aste in the
iirst place th.ui to « <>|>r \\itli it alter it has IK-CD < ic.ttcd. Thiough source
it diu li
    Success with Source Reduction

   People hum sin.ill towns and big cities, across America arc- implementing
innovative SOIIK r i eduction programs and an- leali/ing ee onennu as we'll as
environmental benefits.
   ^u i can encourage and support these- changes in voui < ommunitv In working
with e ivie groups. |o< al mere hants. and countv hoards. Through coiisuiner educa-
tion campaigns, school curricula, economic  incentives, and other legislator,
financial, and educational measures, \our coinmunitv can set the pace lor new
wa\s to reduce solid waste. I leie aie a lew example's of how ((immunities and
businesses are reducing \\asie.

Model Communities
   In a growing number of  Illinois communities, lac ilities ranging liom industries
to schools are practicing source reduction by following the lead ol'comimmm
role models. I he (ientral Stales Fdm a lion ('.cnte-r i( :SF('.), a nonprofit
en\ iioninental group, has dcxeloped a Model ( oinmuniu Program to help
 ommtmilies find w.i\s to tediut- waste, eliminaie toxins. re< \( !<-. ,md purcbase
^loducts that contain iccvcled materi.ils. lliidugli  ibis program, businesses.
organizations, and other groups serve as source reduction role models in their
communities. The facilities institutionalize various source reduction strategies
through in-house committees and on-going  educational programs.
   Seveial  schools, industries, churches and  other organizations participate in this
program. In a model industrv, lor example-,  solvent recvcling machines are used
to make solvents last three times longer. Model supermarkets ha\e a shelf-labeling
progi am to highlight  pioducts with less pac kaging. Additional model facilities
iiu Iude churches, banks, librai ies. a i adio station, a ulilitx compam. nc-\\s|)apei v.
a theatci. a sorori(\, and i-\i-n a c it\ hall. At present there- are over 70 model facili-
ties in eight different  Illinois ((immunities.
   \s a result < >f ihese model fac ilitic-s. less waste is generated in the participating
communities, and much of what is generated gets muted to the- communiu ie<  \-
cling (cnier. rather than the landfill. For example,  one model  school reduced
cafeteria waste b\  1<> percent. Interest in the program is growing nationwide as
communities use the model program  to educate citi/eiis and get them invoked
in reducing their solid waste-.

Berkeley—Doing It Right from the Start
   In 1989. Berkeley, California, implemented a citvwide campaign to help con
SUIIKTS make cmironmentalh sound dec isions. The- Cit\ uses catdu slogans. su< h
as "do it right from the start," "be pick\ about packaging," and "overcome o\ei-
packaging." to urge shoppers to think about how products are packaged and
              ultimately disposed of. Consumers tell manufacturers which prod-
                                ucts thev want to use and which products ihev
                                  don't want bv leaving them on store shelves.
                                    Since  I9S9. the initiames under this
                                  program have grown as businesses and
                                   residents have embraced the concept.
                                   The program  now  includes an educational
                                   campaign directed at  elementary schools.
                                   An environmental education curriculum
                                    has been developed, as well as a training
                                    program, to  help teachers incorporate
                                    rending and other environmental
                                     messages into  their  science lessons.
                                     Other recent initiatives involve city
                                     supermarkets, which have printed
                                      i ccvcling tips on their grocery bags.
                                      Some supermarkets also offer a
                                      discount to shoppers who bring
                                       their own bags or containers.
                                       Finally, a  composting program
                                       offers subsidi/ed composting bins
                                       to Berkeley residents to encourage
                                        home composting.


Source Reduction—Savings for Business
   More and more businesses, lariat1 and small, art- rcali/ing thai source reduction
ran mean a big pavotf in it-iliued \\.IMC and costs. Kor example, a small news-
paper in (irand Rapids. Minnesota, the Hrnild /iVr/Vic. has reduced ils waste by
almost ;W.OOO pomuls annualh.  which sa\es over SIS,000 per veai. r \ei \one joins
in io rediu e waste, lioin leporteis suite him; to nariow-rnied notebooks to sase
papei. lo photographers saving film In phinnin^ llie nnmbei ol'exposmes ihev
need betoi e shooting.
   In the- oilier, people reuse mailing labels, rebuild loner cartridges foi com-
puter pi mieis, and print on both sides ol  the paper. A ( eramii s p,u ka^int; linn
h.is e\cn be«-n  loiind to puichase the paper left over from the printing pioi ess.
This "waste e\( bailee" beiietiis both coinp.tnies. I he newspaper also has found
\va\s to reuse waste ink. film-developing chemicals, and paste-up sheets. These
innovative ideas reduce both the amount  and the loxuitv of  the < on i pa m s
   \lso. a large furniture manufacturer. Merman  Miller, Inc. (MMII of /<'eland.
Mil big.in, lias  reaped savings of SI. 1 million annualh through wasie prevention.
It de\iscd  packaging containei s  that can be reused SO to 100 limes and that are
made From recycled detergent and milk containers.
   \noihei approach HMI uses  is carionless packaging. This means just placing
cardboard edges on the ( orners of  some furniture and wrapping the t'urnituie
with plasiie film ralhei ihan boxing it. I In- cardboard edges  are reused and the
 )lastic film is i ec \cled. This pi actice has saved 11 \11 >'_'.")().0(10 a \ear l
  What Have You  Come  Up  With?
  \\e want to he,u \our innovative ideas
on how to prac tire MHIU <• it-due lion. Send
us .1 SOUK <• irdm lion lip, and we'll send
von a magnet that can be used lo slick a
shopping list to the refrigeratoi and to
distinguish bimetal and sleel i .ins hom
aluminum cans (magnets arc not
amactfd to aluminum). Quantities arc-
limited. Send \otir name, address, and
tip to Source' Redue lion lip. the RC.RA
Docket (OS-:*I).'»>. U. S. 1 luironmental
Protection Agcinc\. 101 M Street. S\V..
Washington, E»C 20K")().

                        Appendix  A
Source Reduction Alternatives Around the Home
   Manv consumers look foi wavs K> reduce the amount and loxicilv oi vv.isic
.iiomul the house.  I his can be done, in some ( ases. bv using altei native methods
or products without ha/ardous (•onstiiuents (o .u eomplish a cei tain task. Ileie aie
jusi a leu ideas to gel von started.
  1 )i ain cleaner
  ( Ken (leaner
  (ilass cleaner

  loilel l)o\vl cleaner

  l-'ui iiiture polish

  Rug deodorize)

  Silver polish
  Plain spravs

  Flea and tick
I 'se a plunger or plumber's snake.
('.lean spills as soon as the oven cools using s
wool and baking soda: lor tough stains, add salt (do
not use (his method in sell'-i leaning or
continuous-cleaning ovens).
Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in 1 quart
of water. Spra\  on and use newspaper to wipe drv.
I se a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar.
i. I his will clean but not disinlect.)
Mix 1 teaspoon ol lemon juice in 1 pint ol mineral or
vegetable oil. and wipe furniture.
Deodor i/e drv  carpets b\ sprinkling liberalh with
baking soda, Wait at least lf> minute-sand vacuum.
Repeat i! necessai \.
l'» >il L' li i '.'• inches ot water in a shallow pan with 1
teaspoon ol salt. 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a
sheet  of aluminum foil. Totallv submerge silver and
boil lor '2 to .') HUH e minutes. Wipe awav tat nish.
Repeat if uccessarv (Do not use  this method on
antique silver' knixes.  lire blade will separate Iron) the
handle.) Another alternative is to use nonahrasive
Wipe  leaves with mild soap and water; rinse.
I'se cedar chips, lavender Mowers, losemarv mint.
or white peppercorns.
I'm brewer's \easi (>i garlic in \oiir pet's lood:
sprinkle lennel. rue. roscmaiv 01 eiual\|)tus
seeds 01 leaves  around animal sleeping areas.
  Although the suggested mixtures have less ha/ardous ingredients than main
commercial cleaners and pesticides, they should be used and stored with similar
caution. Please follow these guidelines lor am household cleaner or pesticide.
  • IX ) \() 1 mix amthing with a commercial c leaning agent.
  • Il'vou do store .1 homemade mixture, make sun- it is properly labelled and
    do not store il  in a container th.it could he mistaken lot a food 01 beveiagc.
  • When preparing alternatives, mix only what is needed for the job at hand
    and mix them  in clean, reusable containers. This avoids waste and the need
    to store am (leaning mixture.


                        Appendix B
Reusable Vocabulary

Bimetal -Typicalh refers lo he\ciage containcis \\ilh steel bodies and .ilniiiinnm
   lops. Steel companies do ret \i le bimetal cans. l>nl tlu-\ are handled differcnth
   in the iccvcling stream from aliiniinuin cans.
Combustion - The controlled burning of municipal solid waste lo i cdm e \olunic.
   and. commonly,  to ret OUT encigv
Composting -The t on trolled microhial dct -om posit ion of organic  inattci i MH li
   as food s( r.i]»s and yard trimmings) in tin- presence ol o\vgen into a humus-
   01 soil-like material.
Curbside collection  - A method ol collecting ivc\elahle materials at individual
   homes or places ol'business In municipal or private parties lor transfer
   to a designated collection sile or recycling lacililx.
Drop-off-A method of collecting readable materials where individuals transpor
   the materials to a designated collection site.
Household ba/.ardous waste - Products containing ha/ardous substances thai
   are used and disposed ol b\ individual rather than industrial consumers.
   These prodiu Is iiu lude some paints. soKeuls. and pesticides.
Integrated waste management - The coinplementai \ use ol a \ariet\ ot |>i .it tices
   !•> handle municipal solid waste sateh and el'let li\el\. Integrated \\aste man-
   agement techniques hit hide SOUK e rediu lion. rctAcling. composting,
   combustion, and landiilling.
Landfilling - The disposal of'solid waste at engineeied facilities in a series of
   i ompacted lavers on hind and the frequent  daih i o\ering ol the waste with
   soil. Fill areas are < arefulK prepared to present nuisances < H public  health
   ha/aids,  and clav and 01 sMithelic lincis aie used lo pre\t-nt release-- n>
   gi ound water.
Municipal solid waste (MS\V) -  Waste generated in households. commcK lal
   establishments, institutions, and businesses. MSW includes used paper.
   discarded cans and bottles,  food scraps, vard trimmings, and other items
   Industrial process wastes, agricultural wastes, mining wastes, and sewage
   sludge are not MSW.
Pre-consumer materials - Recovered materials obtained from manufacturers.
Post-consumer materials - Recoxcred materials  from a consumer-oriented
   ret vcling toilet lion svstcm or drop-off center.
Recyclable - Piodm is or materials thai < an be (ollet ted. separ.it ed. ant I pioi essed
   to be used as i.iw materials in the manufacture of new piodut Is.

Recycled content - I lu- poi lion of a pioduc t's or package's weight lliai is
   composed oC materials thai have hern ie< oveied honi \\aste: this ma\ include
   pre-consninei 01 p< >st-
                         Appendix  C
EPA Resources
   The following EPA publications are available at no charge through the
Agency's RCRAHotline. Call l-sixi-m-W-Hi Mondav through F.idav. ,X::K> .,.111. to
7:30 p.m. KST. For the hearing impaired, the number is I  1 1) r>3-7<>7i>. In
Washington, DC, call (703) 9L>0-9H10 or Tl)l) (703) 48h\ of 'Municipal Solid Waste Management .\(ternnth>e\ (F.PA r>:i4)-.S\\-X<)-0.~>r>).
   A listing of approximately 200 publications available from industrv,
   government, and environmental groups.
Churactenzatwn of Municipal Solid Waste in the ('niled States:  1W(> I '(date (EPA/530-
   SW-90-042). A report characterizing the national solid  waste stream in terms ol
   products and materials and examining how these wastes are managed.
Characterization of Products Containing Lead and ( adtninm in Municipal Solid Waste in
   tlit -I'nited Staff*. 1970 to 2000 (EPA/530-SVV-S9-OI f)( j. A u-poii  chai at ten/ing
   the products that contribute to the lead and cadmium found in municipal
   solid waste.

Decision-Maker's (,inde to Miinirifial Solid Waste Management ( F.PA  ">30-S\V-S9-072).
   \ guide book to help policymakers understand and evaluate their curreni
   \\aMe management problems and formulate possible solutions.
F.m'irtmmental Fact Slirrt: Yant Wait,- CnHifn>.\{infr(¥.?A  :>:'.n-S\V-') l-DD'.l). A lad sheet
   defining composting, the composting process, and how comp< >st t an be used.
(Siting at tin-. Sourer: Striitrgii'-* /»' Reducing Municipal SoKd Wti^ti: fc\irnlii'c Summary
   (1991). Kxcerpts from a report prepared under an EPA giant bv the World
   \\ ildlife Fund i3()-SW-S9-
   051A). The summary of a report  examining many issues related to plastit s,
   including reduction, recycling, degradabilitv, and damage to marine life.

Plastics Fact Sheets. A series of five fact sheets about plastics:
   •  l>la.\tit\: '/'/»/•/-Vir/s ahmt Production.  I'sr. and DiifMMil (EPA/530-S\V-«HM» I
     A fact sheet reviewing major uses of plastics and impacts ol disposal.
   •  Tin /-«
   •  The Facts on Ray cling Plastics (EPA/530-SW-90-017E). A fact sheet summari/-
     ing the opportunities available for recycling plastics, and the current state
     of plastic recycling technology.
Recycling (EPA/530-SW-88-050). A concise citizen's brochure on recycling and
     its role in solid waste management.
Recycle Todayl A series of five publications aimed at educators and students:
   •  Recycle Today!  An Educational Program for Grades K-/2 (EPA/530-SW-90-025).
     A concise pamphlet explaining the goals and objectives of EPA's educational
     recycling program and the four resources listed below.
   •  Ut's Reduce and Recycle! A Curriculum for Solid Waste Awareness (EPA/530-SW-
     90-005). A booklet of lessons and activities to teach students in grades K-12
     about solid  waste generation and management. It teaches a variety of skills,
     including science, vocabulary, mathematics, and creative writing.
   •  School Recycling Programs: A Handbook for Educators (EPA/530-SW-90-023).
     A handy manual with step-by-step instructions on how to set up a school
     recycling program.
     Adventures of the Garbage Gremlin: Recycle and Combat a Life of Grime (EPA/530-
     SW-90-024). A comic book introducing students in grades 4-7 to the benefits
     of recycling.
   •  Ride the Wave of the Future: Recycle Today! (EPA/530-SW-90-010). A colorful
     poster designed to appeal to all grade levels that can be displayed in conjunc-
     tion with recycling activities or used to help foster recycling.
Recycling Works! (EPA/530-SW-89-014). A booklet describing 14 successful state
   and  local recycling programs in the United States.
Reusable News (EPA/530-SW-90-018). A periodic newsletter covering a diverse
   array of topics related to municipal solid waste management, including source
   reduction and recycling.
Unit Pricing: Providing an Incentive to Reduce Municipal Solid Waste (EPA/530-SW-91-
   005). A booklet describing unit pricing systems in which customers are
   charged for waste collection and disposal services based on the  amount
   of trash they  generate.
Used Oil Recycling Publications. A series of three brochures and a manual on ways
   to recycle used oil:
   •  How to Set Up a Local Used Oil Recycling Program (EPA/530-SW-89-039A).
     An easy-to-follow manual for local decision-makers, environmental groups,
     and community organizations.
   •  Recycling Used Oil: What Can You Do? (EPA/530-SW-89-039B). A pamphlet
     describing how the general public can participate in used oil recycling.
   •  Recycling Used Oil: 10 Steps to Change Your Oil (EPA/530-SW-89-039C).
     A pamphlet describing how citizens can change their car oil.
     Recycling Used Oil: For Service Stations and Other Vehicle-Service Facilities
     (EPA/530-SW-89-039D). A pamphlet describing how service station
     owners can  play a key role in facilitating used oil recycling.

              EPA  Regional Offices
Region I
I S. EPA - Region 1
J.F.K. Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 575-5720
Region 2
U.S. EPA - Region 2
26 Federal  Pla/a
New York, NY 10278
(212) 264-3384
Region 3
U.S. EPA- Region 3
H41 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
(215) 597-9801)

Region I
    KPA - Region 4
345 Courtland Stieet, N.E.
Atlanta, (iA 30365
i  }(>li 317-2091
Region 5
U.S. 1 !'\-Region f>
77 West Jackson Boulevaid
Chicago. II. (.()()(II
    i 353-2000

Region 6
U.S. EPA - Region (i
1 11 si Interstate Bank Tower
111") Ross \\rinie
Dallas, TX 75270-2733
   • i 655-6655

Region 7
I  s  1 I'\-Region 7
72ti Minnesota \\ciuic
Kansas Cnv, KS 66101
(!>I 3) 551-7050
Region 8
t  .S. Kl'. A -Region >
l)en\ri 1'l.u e
WJ l.Stl, Street. Suite 50(1
Dt-iivt-i; CO SOL'02-L'
Region 9
I  S. KPA -Region 9
75 llawtlioine Street
San Fraiu isi <>. C \  '>•! 105
(115) 7-1 1-207 I

Region 10
I  .S I l'\- Region 10
1200 Si vh Avenue
Seatilr. \VA '.»SI01


  nm£ntal Infection
Office oTSolid Waste
Emergency Response
April 1994
Lessons Learned About
Unit Pricing

                            'canola ink on pap

Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing of
Municipal Solid Waste
Prepared by

Janice L. Canterbury
U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste

               Acxnow  edeements
               The following state, county, and local officials and private consultants contributed
               their expertise in unit pricing programs to EPA's Unit Pricing Roundtable and to the
               development of this guide:

               Nancy Lee Newell, City of Durham, North Carolina
               Peggy Douglas, City of Knoxville, Tennessee
               Barbara Cathey, City of Pasadena, California
               Bill Dunn, Minnesota Office of Waste Management
               Nick Pealy, Seattle Solid Waste Utility
               Jody Harris, Maine Waste Management Agency
               Jamy Poth, City of Austin, Texas
               Jeanne Becker, Becker Associates
               Lisa Skumatz and Cabell Breckinridge, Synergic Resources Corporation
               Lon Hultgren, Town of Mansfield, Connecticut
               Greg Harder, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources
               Thomas Kusterer, Montgomery County Government, Maryland
               Robert Arner, Northern Virginia Planning District Commission

               Their assistance is greatly appreciated.

About This Guide    ...........    vi
Key to Symbols      ...........   viii

PART I: Is Unit Pricing Right for
Your Community?	I
What Is Unit Pricing?	2
Potential Benefits to Unit Pricing	3
Potential Barriers to Unit Pricing	4
Types of Communities That Can Benefit From Unit Pricing    ....    5
Making a Decision About Unit Pricing      	6

PART II: Building Consensus and Planning for
Unit Pricing	10
Setting Goals and Establishing a Unit Pricing Team     .....    11
Addressing Barriers	12
Building a Public Consensus	13
Scheduling Your Planning Activities	15

PART III: Designing an Integrated
Unit Pricing Program	I 9
The Building Blocks	20
Volume-Based Versus Weight-Based Programs	20
Container Options	22
Pricing Structures    .	24
Billing and Payment Systems	26
Accounting Options	26
Program Service Options	27
Multi-Family Housing      	29
Residents With Special Needs	30

                    Putting the Blocks Together	34

                    Step 1: Estimating Demand	35

                    Step 2: Choosing Components    .........    36

                    Step 3: Estimating Costs    ..........    37

                    Step 4: Developing a Rate Structure    ........    37

                    Step 5: Calculating Revenues     .........    38

                    Step 6: Evaluating and Adjusting the Program     ......    38

                    PART IV: Implementing and  Monitoring

                    Unit Pricing	45

                    Implementation Activities	46

                    Public Education and Outreach	47

                    Reorganizing Your Solid Waste Agency's Administration      ....    50

                    Developing a Schedule     ..........    52

                    Program Monitoring and Evaluation	52

                    APPENDIXES	63

                    Appendix A:  Unit Pricing Roundtable Discussion: Questions and Alternatives  .    63

                    Appendix B: Putting the Blocks Together: Additional Examples     ...    79

                    Appendix C:  Definitions    ..........    83

                    Appendix D:  Bibliography       .........    85

About  Tiis   Gu
In December 1992, as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's)
efforts to disseminate information about potential solutions to solid waste
management issues, the Agency organized a gathering of experts and local officials
involved in unit pricing programs. The Unit Pricing Roundtable resulted in a
wide-ranging discussion of the benefits and barriers associated with unit pricing
programs. This guide is based on the insights gained from that meeting.

Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing of Municipal Solid Waste is designed
to help local solid waste administrators and planners, elected officials, community
and civic groups, environmental and business organizations, and others find an
answer to the question, "Is unit pricing a viable option for our community, and, if so,
how do we implement it?"

Since communities differ in size, demographics, governing jurisdiction, and other
factors, this guide presents lessons learned in a variety of communities that have
implemented unit pricing. As such, decision-makers can  use the guide to chart a
course through the issues and potential obstacles involved in launching a unit pricing
program and tailoring it to meet the specific needs and goals of the community.

In addition to information drawn from the Roundtable, the guide is derived from
data on dozens of existing unit pricing programs in communities of varying sizes and
demographics. Case studies showcase differences in the  types of collection systems.
fee structures, and complementary programs that can accompany unit pricing
programs. The guide also reflects information  extracted from available literature, as
well as direct advice from experts in the field.

                   The process of considering, planning, and implementing a unit pricing program is a
                   process of moving from general to specific notions of addressing waste management
                   issues. After considering long-term solid waste goals and options and how unit
                   pricing might help achieve them, decision-makers must move on to broad system
                   planning and finally to specific details. This guide is designed to mirror that process
                   of increasing specificity.  It is divided into four parts:

                   Part I: Is Unit Pricing Right for Your Community?
                   Part I offers an introduction to the concept of unit pricing, helps readers decide
                   whether unit pricing holds enough promise for their communities to merit continued
                   investigation and study, and provides an overview of the organization of the guide.

                   Part II: Building Consensus and Planning for Unit Pricing
                   Part II focuses on creating a framework for a successful system. It describes how to
                   establish goals, build a consensus for change within the community, make a decision
                   to pursue a unit pricing strategy, and perform basic  planning tasks for the new

                   Part III: Designing an Integrated Unit Pricing Program
                   Part III introduces solid waste officials to unit pricing program options, including
                   container type and size, pricing  structures, and billing systems. It also presents a
                   six-step process for selecting options and designing a rate structure that will best
                   address the community's unit pricing goals.

                   Part IV: Implementing and Monitoring Unit Pricing
                   Part IV guides communities through the process  of launching their unit pricing
                   program. While implementation, often requires an ongoing series of tasks, this part
                   focuses on the central issues: providing public education and reorganizing the solid
                   waste agency's administrative office.  Part IV also discusses ways to collect and
                   analyze data regarding the performance of the program.

                   To meet the needs of many decision-makers, this guide has been designed to be
                   modular in approach.  Solid waste officials with little experience with unit pricing will
                   want to read the entire guide carefully.  Decision-makers who are somewhat familiar
                   with unit pricing might want to  skim Part I, while carefully studying the remainder of
                   the guide. Those individuals with a good understanding of the pros and cons of unit
                   pricing might proceed directly to the design and implementation guidelines offered in
                   Parts III and IV.

 Lr   /~\\ /  "T" /*"\   X^ \  / K°V™\ r*\ /**\  f*
 i\ey   10   oymoo  s
To help readers focus on key issues, symbols are used throughout the guide to
indicate the themes and concepts that are central to unit pricing. These are:
There are no universally applicable guidelines that must be followed when
developing a unit pricing program. All unit pricing options offer their own
set of advantages and disadvantages. When designing a unit pricing
program, decision-makers need to weigh these factors and choose the
course of action that best suits the needs of their communities.
           Involving and educating the public is key to the success of any unit
           pricing program.
One of the biggest issues associated with unit pricing programs concerns
the costs to design and implement a program. Residents also will be
concerned about waste collection fees.

EPA has established a hierarchy identifying the preferred methods for
managing solid waste. At the top of the hierarchy is waste prevention.
Recycling (including composting) is the next preferred technique, used
for managing the waste that cannot be prevented. Finally, landfilling and
combustion can be used to dispose of the remaining waste.

Decision-makers will need to address some potential hurdles to
implementing unit pricing. These include recovering expenses, increased
administrative costs, perception of increased costs being passed on to
citizens, and illegal dumping.

 Is  Unit  Pricing  Right  for Your
        ver the past several years, many communities across
        the United States have found it increasingly difficult to
        effectively and economically manage their municipal
        solid waste (MSW). Against a backdrop of steadily
rising waste generation rates, many communities have seen
their local landfills closing, tipping fees rising, and prospects
for siting new disposal facilities diminishing. Other demands on
waste management systems include growing public awareness
of general environmental issues, as well  as state and locally
legislated waste prevention and recycling goals.
In response, many communities have begun adopting new
approaches to waste management, such as collecting materials
for recycling; composting yard trimmings and other organic
materials; and conducting education programs intended to help
residents understand the need for waste prevention and
recycling. In addition, recognizing that  market-based
approaches are proving to be important tools in dealing with
environmental issues, some communities have turned to
economic incentives to encourage residents to prevent waste
whenever possible and recycle or compost the remainder.
One such incentive system is unit pricing.
                            IS UNIT PRICING RIGHT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?

 What  Is Unit  Pricing?
    Unit pricing is
       not a new
    began its unit
  pricing program
     in 1924, and
  launched a unit
  pricing program
         in  1916!
By encouraging residents
to prevent waste and
recycle whenever
possible, unit pricing is
helping communities to
better manage their solid
   Traditionally, many communities in the United States have paid for
waste management services through property taxes or through an annual
fee charged to each household. The cost per residence remains constant
regardless of differences in the amount of waste generated. This creates
the mistaken impression that MSW management is free.

   Unit pricing, also known as variable rate pricing or pay-as-you-throw,
is a system under which residents pay for municipal waste management
services per unit of waste collected rather than through a fixed fee. Unit
pricing takes into account variations in waste generation rates by
charging households or residents based on the amount of trash they place
at the curb, thereby offering individuals an incentive to reduce the
amount of waste  they generate and dispose of.

   Unit pricing programs can take two basic forms. Residents can be
charged by:

                   • Volume of waste,  using bags, tags or stickers,
                      or prescribed sizes of waste cans.
                   • Weight of waste, with the municipality
                      measuring at the curbside the amount of
                      waste set out for collection.
                       While they operate differently from one another,
                   these systems share one defining characteristic:
                   residents who throw away more pay more.

                       If the basic concept of unit pricing is
                   straightforward, however, the decision to adopt
                   such a program is far from simple. To help
                   communities considering unit pricing as a solution
                   to their mounting solid waste management
                   difficulties. EPA convened a Unit Pricing
                   Roundtable, attended by representatives from
                   communities that had implemented unit pricing or
were actively considering it. EPA then organized the resulting wealth of
ideas and advice to produce this guide. EPA designed the guide to help
readers determine whether unit pricing is a viable option for their
community and,  if so,  which factors to consider when planning and
implementing such a program.

                             Potential Benefits to Unit Pricing
   Communities that have adopted unit pricing programs have reported a
number of benefits, ranging from reductions in waste generation to
greater public awareness of environmental issues. These benefits include:

•  Waste reduction. Unit pricing can help substantially reduce the
   amount of waste disposed of in a community. Some communities with
   unit pricing programs report that unit pricing helped their municipality
   achieve reductions of 25 to 45 percent in the amount of waste shipped
   to disposal facilities.
•  Reduced waste  disposal costs. When the amount of waste is
   reduced, communities often find their overall MSW management
   costs have declined as well. (A portion of the revenues previously
   spent on waste disposal, however, may need to be dedicated to
   recycling, composting, or other diversion activities.)
•  Increased waste prevention. To take advantage of the potential
   savings that unit pricing  offers, residents typically modify their
   traditional purchasing and consumption patterns to reduce the amount
   of waste they place at the curb. These behavioral changes have
   beneficial environmental effects beyond reduced waste generation,
   often including reduced energy usage and materials conservation.
•  Increased participation in composting and recycling
   programs. Under unit pricing, new or existing recycling and yard
   waste composting programs become opportunities for residents to
   divert waste for which they otherwise would pay. Experience has
   shown that these  programs are the perfect complement for unit
   pricing: analysis of existing unit pricing systems shows that
   composting and recycling programs divert 8 to  13 percent more waste
   by weight when used in conjunction with a unit pricing program.
•  Support of the waste management hierarchy. By creating an
   incentive to reduce as much waste as possible using source reduction
   and to recycle and/or compost the waste that cannot be prevented,
   unit pricing supports the hierarchy  of waste management techniques
   defined by EPA.
•  More equitable waste management fee structure. Traditional
   waste management fees, in effect, require residents who generate a
   small amount of waste to subsidize  the greater generation rates of
   their neighbors. Under unit pricing, waste removal charges are based
   on the level of service the municipality provides to collect and
   dispose of the waste, similar to the way residents are charged for gas
   or electricity. Because the customer is charged only for the level of
                                            IS UNIT PRICING RIGHT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?

   service required, residents have more control over the amount of
   money they pay for waste management.
   Increased understanding of environmental issues in general.
   Through unit pricing, communities have the opportunity to explain
   the hidden costs of waste management. Traditional waste
   management systems often obscure the actual economic and
   environmental costs associated with waste generation and disposal.
   Once individuals understand their impact on the environment, they
   can choose to take steps to minimize it.
Potential Barriers to  Unit Pricing
      In all unit
   residents who
     throw away
 more pay more.
   While there are clearly benefits associated with unit pricing
programs, there also are potential barriers. Communities considering unit
pricing should be aware of the costs and possible community relations
implications associated with the following issues:

•  Illegal dumping. Some residents have strong reservations about unit
   pricing, believing it will encourage illegal dumping or burning of
   waste in their area. Communities can counter this fear with an
   effective public education program. Since most communities with
   unit pricing programs have reported that illegal dumping proved to be
   less of a concern than anticipated, providing residents with this
   information can help allay their concerns over illegal dumping.
•  Recovering expenses. Since unit pricing offers a variable rate to
   residents, the potential exists for uneven cash flow that could make it
   harder to operate a unit pricing program. To address this,
   communities must be sure to set prices  at the appropriate level to
   ensure that, on average, sufficient funds are raised to pay for waste
   collection, complementary programs, and special services.
•  Administrative costs. Effectively establishing rates, billing
   residents, and collecting payments under a unit pricing program will
   likely increase a waste management agency's administrative costs.
   Communities need to set waste collection prices at a level that can
   cover these costs.
•  Perception of increased costs to residents. While a unit pricing
   program offers residents greater control over the cost of collecting
   their waste, it could initially be seen as a rate increase. An effective
   public outreach campaign that clearly demonstrates  the current costs
   of waste management and the  potential reductions offered by unit
   pricing  will help to address this perception.
•  Multi-family housing.  Extending direct waste reduction incentives
   to residents of multi-family housing can present a challenge. Since
   waste generated by these  residents typically is combined in a central

   location to await collection, identifying the amounts of waste generated
   by individual residents in order to charge accordingly can he difficult.
   Communities must experiment with rate strut lures and collection
   systems to encourage residents of multi-family housing to reduce waste.
   Building public consensus. Perhaps the greatest barrier to realizing
   a unit pricing program is overcoming resistance to change, both
   among citizens and elected officials. Informing residents about the
   environmental and economic costs of current waste generation patterns
   can help overcome this resistance and build support for unit pricing.
     Careful planning and design of a unit pricing program to meet
   specific community needs is the best solution to these potential
   difficulties. In particular, an effective public education program
   designed to communicate the need for unit pricing and address the
   potential concerns of residents will help meet these challenges.
   (Public education programs are discussed in detail in Fart IV of this guide.)
                  Types  of  Communities  That  Can  Benefit
                                                           From Unit  Pricing
   Unit pricing programs work best when
tailored to local needs. All types of communities
can design unit pricing programs that will help
achieve the goals of reducing waste generation
and easing waste management difficulties: large,
medium-sized, and small communities in every
region of the country have realized these
benefits. Local officials indicate that unit pricing
programs also work well whether solid waste
services are cairied out by municipal or by
private haulers.

   As a result, unit pricing has grown
significantly over the  last few years. In the
1980s, only a handful of communities in the
United States operated unit pricing programs.
Now, over 1,000 communities have unit pricing
programs in place. By January 1994, over 1,800
programs are scheduled to be in operation. In
addition, laws in 10 states currently mandate
or encourage unit pricing programs.

                                                               For .
                                             IS UNIT PRICING RIGHT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?

Making a Decision About Unit Pricing

                         After considering this overview of the benefits and barriers to unit
                      pricing programs, decision-makers who believe unit pricing could
                      work in their community can turn to Part II of this guide and begin the
                      planning process. Decision-makers should carefully consider key
                      factors such as the types of services  to offer, the associated costs, the
                      potential for complementary programs, the level of administrative
                      change necessary, and the extent to which residents will support or
                      oppose unit pricing.

Will this guide tell me what system to use and how to
implement it?
No. This guide is intended to provide essential information about unit pricing and
to help you think about how well such a program would work in your community.
It will provide many suggestions borne of successful programs of all types and
sizes around the country. However, final decisions about whether to adopt unit
pricing,  what type of system to use, and how to implement it should be made
based on local needs and circumstances.
How expensive is it to implement unit pricing?
The cost of implementing a unit pricing program is directly related to how
complex the selected system is, how it is financed, and how different it is from the
current waste removal system. Many communities have implemented unit pricing
with minimal upfront and ongoing costs. Over the long term, communities with unit
pricing programs have generally reported them to be cost-effective methods of
achieving their waste management goals.
Our community has had significant fiscal  problems. Would unit
pricing be appropriate?
A community introducing unit pricing may choose to use fees either to supplement
or to replace current revenue sources. While a community with a tight waste
management budget may choose to use unit pricing fees to supplement current
revenue sources, the public may resist such fees as  simply an additional tax. Other
communities stress that local acceptance of a unit pricing program is greater if
current taxes, such as general or property taxes, are reduced by the amount of
the new solid waste fees.
                                               IS UNIT PRICING RIGHT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?

Points  to
   Unit pricing requires residents to pay for each unit of waste that
   they dispose of. This billing arrangement is similar to fees assessed on
   other essential services (such as water and electricity), where the
   charge is based on usage.
   Unit pricing has been effective in reducing the amount of solid waste
   disposed of in all types of communities across the country.
   Communities using unit pricing in tandem with recycling and
   composting programs have found these programs increase each
   other's effectiveness.
   This guide is designed to provide basic information about planning
   and operating a unit pricing program. Decisions regarding the actual
   program you adopt will be based on your community's unique

                                                              Case Studies
 All Types of Communities Are Adopting Unit Pricing

 Rural areas. Unit pricing is found in a number of rural communities. For
 example, it has been implemented in High Bridge, New Jersey, which has a
 population of 4,000, and in Baldwin, Wisconsin, which has a population of under

 Larger communities. While unit pricing is not yet common in the largest
 cities, it has been working successfully in Anaheim, Glendale, Pasadena, and
 Oakland, California; Aurora, Illinois; Lansing, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; and a
 number of other communities with populations over 100,000. In addition, state
 laws in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington either currently or soon will
 require implementation of unit pricing programs in communities statewide,
 regardless of size (with some  exceptions).

 County-wade. Unit pricing also can be implemented on a county-wide basis.
 Tompkins County, New York; Hennepin County, Minnesota; and King County,
 Washington all have implemented unit pricing programs.
 Unit Pricing Cuts Down on Waste Volume

 Unit pricing can result in dramatic declines in the amount of waste set out for
 collection. The Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, noted a 30-percent reduction
 in waste volume after implementing a unit pricing program. Seattle, Washington,
 reported a decline in waste generation from an average of 3.5 waste cans to 1.7
 cans per household per week after unit pricing was launched. This amount was
 further reduced to just one can per household per week after complementary
 curbside recycling and composting programs were introduced (see the discussion
 of complementary programs in Part III).

 Most communities, however, cannot delineate what percentage of waste
 reduction is directly attributable to unit pricing and what percentage is due to
other factors, such as new recycling programs, consumer education, or even
economic recession.  Nevertheless, studies conducted over the last few years
indicate consistent waste reductions in unit pricing communities. For example,
a study at Duke University by Dr. Daniel  Blume examined 14  cities with unit
pricing. The waste reductions in this study ranged from 18 to 65 percent. The
average waste reduction was 44 percent.
                                              IS UNIT PRICING RIGHT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?

Building Consensus and  Plannin;
for Unit  Pricing
                         nit pricing involves many important decisions
                         regarding how to perform and pay for solid waste
                         services. To be sure that their communities are
                         choosing the best options, many solid waste
                    agencies have initiated a planning process that helps lay
                    the groundwork for sound decisions and coordinated
                    implementation. This process helps clarify the
                    community's solid waste needs and goals, identify likely
                    barriers and methods of overcoming them, and inform and
                    educate residents about unit pricing and how it can
                    improve solid waste management in the community.

     Setting Goals and  Establishing a Unit Pricing Team
   Solid waste management can be a confusing business, with success
measured against standards as varied as recycling diversion rates,
total costs, or even quality of media coverage. For this reason, the first
step when planning for unit pricing is to determine the goals of the
program based on a review of your community's solid waste
management needs and concerns. While goal-setting can at first seem
like an abstract exercise, clearly defined and measurable objectives for
your program are invaluable when deciding which unit pricing options
would work best in your community.  Goal-setting can help build
community consensus and facilitate efficient monitoring and
evaluation of the unit pricing piogram's progress.

   Although you will want to solicit input from local residents and other
interested parties before coming up with a final list of goals, it is useful to
first examine and prioritize goals internally before introducing them to
the community. Consider holding an internal brainstorming session to
establish a preliminary list of goals. This session could last anywhere
from one hour to  half a day, depending on the size and makeup of your
community, the issues that need to be addressed in the session, and the
needs and structure of your agency. A shorter, followup session to
revisit, refine, and prioritize goals also might be useful.

   Prioritizing goals also is important  since the weight that you assign to
goals now will  help you design the rate structure for the program.
(Setting rate structures is described in  Part III of the guide.) In addition,
achieving every objective on a community's list can be difficult.
Consider the  tradeoffs among program costs, citizen convenience, staffing
changes, and other factors as you  prioritize your goals. Circumstances often
require compromise in one area in exchange for progress in another.

   Specific goals and objectives can vary significantly among
communities. Examples include:

•  Encouraging waste prevention and recycling.  A community
   should set unit prices at levels high enough to encourage households
   to reduce waste generation and to recycle and compost. This helps to
   achieve existing recycling goals and to conserve landfill space.
•  Raising sufficient revenue  to cover municipal solid waste
   management costs. A unit pricing program should bring in
   enough revenue to cover both the program's variable costs and its
   more stable or fixed costs. Variable costs, such as landfill tipping fees,
   are the expenses that fluctuate with changes in the amount of solid
   waste collected. Fixed costs are costs that change only rarely, such as
   rent for agency offices, or that change only after large-scale waste
   collection changes, such as the number of collection trucks needed.
                                         BUILDING CONSENSUS AND PLANNING FOR UNIT PRICING

   Establishing a
      clear set of
   goals for your
     unit  pricing
      program is
 invaluable when
   deciding which
     options will
    work  best in
 your community.
•  Subsidizing other community programs. A community might
   wish to generate revenues in excess of the actual costs for solid waste
   collection and then use those funds to enforce antilittering or illegal
   dumping laws, or to improve its recycling and solid waste infrastructure.
   Once your agency has established a list  of preliminary goals, consider
setting up  a unit pricing team or citizen advisory council to help you
refine and prioritize these goals. A unit pricing team typically consists of
solid waste staff, interested elected officials, civic leaders, and
representatives from affected businesses in  the community.  Team
members may be solicited through advertisements in local newspapers
and on radio and television stations.  Including these individuals in the
planning process gives the community a sense of program ownership.

   In addition, team members can help other residents in the community
understand the specifics of the program as it evolves and can provide
your agency with valuable input on residents' concerns about the
program. Members of the team also can serve as a sounding board  to help
ensure strong community participation throughout the planning process.
Addressing  Barriers
A unit pricing team composed
of residents, civic leaders, and
town officials can help ensure
the development of a
successful unit pricing program.
   The team or council also can help your agency identify potential
barriers to implementing unit pricing in your community and consider
ways in which these barriers can be addressed. Illegal dumping and
burning of waste is one of the mostly frequently cited barriers to unit
pricing. Yet participants at EPA's Unit Pricing Roundtable and
                       communities with unit pricing programs report
                       that illegal dumping has occurred prior to
                       implementing a program and tends  to persist at
                       some level, regardless of the way in which
                       residents are charged for solid waste

                          The key is to design a unit pricing program
                       that significantly deters illegal dumping and
                       burning. Public education and enforcement
                       policies are the most effective tools in
                       addressing this barrier. Informing residents of
                       the experiences of communities with unit
                       pricing and setting up fair but aggressive
                       enforcement policies to respond to incidents of
                       illegal dumping also are essential.

   Other potential barriers to unit pricing  include recovering
expenses, covering administrative costs, ensuring that unit pricing is
not perceived  as a rate increase by residents, implementing unit
pricing in multi-family buildings, addressing physical or financial
difficulties for senior citizens, and overcoming resistance to changing

the status quo. (Part III of this guide provides an in-depth discussion of
barriers and specific strategies for overcoming them.)

   Once both the municipal solid waste agency and the unit pricing
team or council have evaluated specific goals and barriers, it is time to
unveil the program to the city at large.  The team or council might
consider developing a preliminary proposal with several program options.
This proposal can serve as a basis for public discussion and help
illustrate what changes might occur.
                                             Building  a Public  Consensus
   Public education is critical to the planning, design, and
implementation stages of a unit pricing program. In fact, education is the
linchpin holding all of these phases together. While educating the public
might at first seem unnecessary and expensive, the experiences of
communities that have implemented unit pricing programs indicate that
a good public relations program more than pays for itself.

   Such a program is effective at developing a
general consensus among residents on the need for
unit pricing. Community support is vital to the
long-term success of a unit pricing program. In
fact, communities that have implemented unit
pricing programs are nearly unanimous  in listing
education and community relations as the most
important elements of a successful unit  pricing
program.  Public education can combat fears and
myths about unit pricing (such as the fear of
increased illegal dumping) and help avoid or
mitigate many potential implementation problems.

   When first reaching out to residents during the
planning stage, don't be surprised if many
residents react with skepticism to the idea of unit
pricing. Initial opposition is often related to a perception that unit
pricing will result in an additional financial burden. Opposition also
might be  due simply to a natural resistance to change. Resistance to unit
pricing is especially prevalent in communities where solid waste
management fees are hidden in general or property taxes.

   To counter this opposition, municipal officials can inform residents of
the current difficulties associated with waste collection and management.
In particular, officials can explain the costs to residents of the current
system of waste management. Next, they could present the goals for
improving the management of solid waste in the community. In this
context, officials can introduce unit pricing, discuss  its potential for meeting
these  objectives, and address  any questions and concerns that residents
have expressed about the new program.

                                          BUILDING CONSENSUS AND PLANNING FOR UNIT PRICING

    At EPA's Unit
   education and
  relations as the
  most important
    elements of a
   successful unit
 pricing program.
    Winning community support for unit pricing often hinges on explaining
 how the program can achieve certain critical objectives. Discussions at EPAs
 Unit Pricing Roundtable revealed that residents tended to support unit
 pricing if the program achieved the waste management principles about
 which they cared the most. Residents often develop a sense of civic pride in
 programs that meet these objectives. Roundtable panelists strongly
 recommended that solid waste officials devote a significant amount of
 attention to communicating these basic principles:

 •  Equity. The program should be structured so that people who
    generate more waste pay more, while residents who prevent waste,
    recycle, and compost are charged less.
 •  Waste reduction.  The program must significantly reduce the
    community's generation of waste, increase the rate  of recycling, and,
    therefore, reduce the amount of waste requiring disposal in landfills
    and combustors.
 •  Reductions in waste management costs. By helping to alter
    household waste generation patterns, the program should help reduce the
    cost of collecting and disposing of the community's solid waste.
 •  Municipal improvements. The program should contribute to
    improvements in the quality of life in the community, such as
    resource conservation and land  preservation.
    In addition to deciding what information needs to be communicated,
 solid waste officials also should consider how best to reach residents in
 the community. An unspecified change in waste management services
 scheduled to occur at some future date is not likely to capture a
 community's attention. The following activities represent some of the
 ways in which officials can explain the benefits of unit pricing:

•  Hold public meetings. Interactive public meetings offer solid waste
    officials the opportunity to present the case for unit pricing. Such
    meetings also give citizens the  sense that their concerns  are being
    heard and addressed in the eventual program.
•  Prepare briefing papers for elected officials. As both shapers
    and followers of public opinion, elected officials tend to be at the center
    of public policy debates. Because well-informed leadership can raise
    issues in such a way as to attract residents' interest, solid waste
    officials might want to  provide elected officials with brief summaries
    of the issues associated with solid waste management and the likely
    benefits of a unit pricing program.

•  Issue press releases. Press coverage of a change in the way that a
    community  pays for its solid waste collection services is inevitable.
    Keeping key radio, television, and newspaper outlets well informed of
    the reasoning behind the move to unit pricing can make the press a
    valuable participant in the decision-making process and prepare the
    community  for an upcoming change.

•  Work with retailers. Grocers and other retailers in your community
   can help educate citizens by displaying posters and other information
   about the new program in their stores. In addition, retailers can help
   customers generate less waste by displaying information about
   choosing waste-reduced products.
   Part IV of this guide explains additional steps that communities can
take to communicate their ideas to the public.
                               Scheduling Your Planning Activities
   Even before the final decision is made to pursue unit pricing, some
basic planning issues can be addressed. Chief among these are
legal/jurisdictional issues and timing. Generally, states extend to local
jurisdictions the authority to provide waste management services and to
charge residents accordingly. During the planning process, however,
many communities have the unit pricing team research the
municipality's legal basis for implementing a new solid waste service
pricing mechanism rather than risk discovering a problem unexpectedly
during implementation.

   Since unit pricing programs often involve a number of steps and some
complex decision-making, consider developing a timeline for planning,
designing, and implementing your program. Based on the experiences of
communities that have successfully implemented unit pricing, planning
for unit pricing should begin at least a year in advance of your targeted
start date. You can establish goals for the unit pricing program and begin
explaining the program to the community from 9 to 12 months before
program implementation. Public education should continue throughout
the months prior to the program and, to some extent, after the program is
underway. You can identify the legal framework for the program at least
six months before the start of a program. A detailed suggested timeline
for a unit pricing program is  provided in Part IV of this guide.
                                         BUILDING CONSENSUS AND PLANNING FOR UNIT PRICING     15

                            Everyone agrees we should prevent waste and recycle more. Why
                            do we need to spend so much time thinking about specific goals
                            and  objectives?
                            It will probably be easy to get a broad consensus that some things are "good,"
                            such  as saving money or reducing disposal rates. But solid waste management in
                            general and unit pricing in particular often involve a series of tradeoffs. For
                            example, a community may decide to sacrifice some convenience for households to cut
                            costs  or to create a stronger waste-reduction incentive. Establishing goals and priorities
                            early  in the planning process can make it easier to make difficult choices as they arise.
                            Why is public input so important? We have already consulted
                            with many solid waste experts, who know a lot more about solid
                            waste issues than residents.
                            Municipal officials and experts agree—no unit pricing program is going to work if
                            local residents oppose it. Since improved solid waste management requires a
                            good faith effort from residents to reduce the amount of waste  they dispose of, it
                            makes sense to include residents as equal partners.

Points  to
   Establish realistic goals for your unit pricing program that address your
   community's most pressing waste management needs.
   Involve the community in the planning process. Representatives from
   community organizations can increase acceptance of unit pricing and facilitate
   Plan for the possibility of illegal dumping or burning. In addition to
   explaining other communities* experiences with illegal dumping, let residents know
   about legal alternatives for managing and disposing of solid waste. Also explain that
   concrete steps, such as assessing penalties for violators, will be taken.
   Public education cannot be stressed enough. Promoting the strengths of unit pricing
   and addressing residents' concerns is critical to the success of your program.
                            > 'i * « » *
   Provide elected officials with information on the benefits of unit pricing
   programs to help them address residents' concerns. Also, keep local officials
   informed of decisions made about the program as it evolves.
   Be sure to carefully research your legal authority to establish and enforce
   a unit pricing program. Based on this research and on the advice of your
   municipality's legal counsel, ordinances may be necessary to establish the program.
   Plan ahead by establishing a timeline for your program.
                                    BUILDING CONSENSUS AND PLANNING FOR UNIT PRICING

   Case Studies
                            Three Cities Report on Illegal Dumping

                            In Mansfield, Connecticut, officials report that illegal dumping did not
                            increase significantly with the introduction of unit pricing. To prevent illegal
                            dumping, Mansfield has relied primarily on public education. When necessary,
                            however, the solid waste department also has worked with the police department
                            to track license plates and identify violators.
                            In Seattle, Washington, unit pricing also has not been associated with an
                            increase in illegal dumping. In fact, 60 to 80 percent of the illegal dumping incidents
                            in the city are associated with remodeling waste, refrigerators, and construction
                            debris-waste that the city suspects comes from small contractors who do hauling on
                            the side and dump the refuse. Seattle officials are considering licensing these haulers
                            or requiring remodelers to verify that their material has been properly disposed of.
                            The city of Pasadena, California, reports similar findings. A survey done at
                            the city's landfill indicated that Pasadena was disposing of one-third more trash
                            than was indicated in a waste generation study completed in the city. Pasadena
                            suspects that this waste is made up of construction and demolition debris
                            dropped off by small contractors. In the future, instead of contracting with small
                            individual haulers, Pasadena may require those applying for a building permit to
                            use licensed haulers to take construction and demolition materials to the landfill.

                                           PART   III
Designing an  Integrated  Unit
Pricing  Program
    o this point, this guide has presented an
    overview of the major benefits and barriers to
    unit pricing, followed by suggestions on how to
    define the objectives of your program and
begin building a consensus for unit pricing in your
community. This portion of the guide introduces
issues relating to the exact structure of your
community's unit pricing program. The first half of
Part III, "The Building Blocks," discusses the
advantages and disadvantages of the specific
program components and service options from which
you can choose.  This is followed by "Putting the
Blocks Together," a six-step process to help you
design a successful unit pricing program.

The Building Blocks
                            While unit pricing is based on the simple concept that households
                         pay only for the waste they generate, designing a working program
                         requires that you consider and decide on a range of specific issues. You
                         may have already examined many of these issues, such as the potential
                         for complementary recycling and composting programs, the types of solid
                         waste services to offer, and the means by which you can provide these
                         services to residents with special needs. During the development of a unit
                         pricing program, however, viewing these issues in the context of how
                         they might affect the success of your program is important.

                            The process of selecting program components and service options can
                         begin as much as nine months before the start of a program. This part of
                         the guide points out the kinds of decisions you need  to make during this
                         process, including:

                           • Choosing a volume-based or weight-based system
                           • Selecting containers
                           • Examining pricing structures
                           • Considering billing procedures
                           • Determining service options and complementary programs
                           • Including multi-family buildings
                           • Accommodating individuals with special needs
                            Communities also need to consider other factors, such as the
                         remaining life of existing containers, the cost of container replacements,
                         the preferences of customers, and the impact of assessing additional taxes
                         or fees on households. Later in this section of the guide, a six-step
                         process for designing an actual unit pricing rate structure is presented.
                         This process should help you tailor a rate structure to local conditions.

                         Volume-Based Versus Weight-Based Programs

                            One of the first decisions to be made when designing a unit pricing
                         program is to determine how solid waste will be measured. Based on your
                         unit pricing goals, local budgetary constraints, and other factors, you
                         need to decide whether your system will charge residents for collection
                         services based on the weight or the volume of waste they generate. The
                         two systems have very different design and equipment requirements.

                            Under volume-based systems, residents are charged for waste
                         collection based on the number and size of waste containers that they
                         use. Households are either 1) charged directly for waste collection based
                         on the number of bags  or cans set out at the curbside, or 2) required to
                         purchase special trash bags (or tags or stickers for trash bags) that include
                         the cost of waste collection in the purchase price.

                                                                                          PART III
   Under weight-based systems, tin; municipality weighs at the curbside
the waste  residents set out lor collection and bills for this service per
pound. Tho program can either
require residents to use standard,
municipally supplied cans or allow
them to continue using their own
cans. Weight-based systems  offer
residents a greater waste reduction
incentive  than volume-based
systems since every pound ol  waste
that residents prevent, recycle, or
compost results in direct savings.
This is true no matter how much or
how little waste reduction occurs.
In addition, residents can easily
understand this type of system and
perceive  it as fair.  Weight-based
systems also provide a more precise
measurement of waste generation
than volume-based systems.

   On Ilii! other hand, weight-based systems tend to be more expensive
to implement and operate  than volume-based systems because special
equipment  is required and  more labor typically is necessary to handle
the more  complex billing system.  In addition, some oi  Hie equipmen
used to weigh the waste, record (be data, and bill the customer is still
experimental. Startup costs for these systems can include
truck-mounted scales for weighing waste and some type of system
(such as bar-coding on waste cans) lor entering this information  into a
computer for accurate billing.

    While volume-based systems are less costly to set up
'"id operate, a potential disadvantage associated with these
systems is that residents might be tempted to compact their
Waste. SOUK; residents will compact more llian others,
perhaps even using mechanical compactors. This reduces
'lie ability of unit  pricing to offer more equitable charges
for waste collection services and complicates the task of
identifying the impact of unit pricing on the community's
rate of solid waste generation. Additionally, depending on
Hie system  chosen, there can be less of an incentive to
reduce waste since such reductions might not translate into
direct  savings for  the resident.

    Although over 1.000 communities nationwide have unit pricing
Programs in place, very few have fully implemented weight-based
programs. Accordingly, the  remainder of this guide focuses predominantly
»ii the process ol  designing and implementing a  volume-based  unit
pricing program.
              •veight-bosed unit

      of Fan
        has invi

                                              DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

Austin, Texas, provides
residents with either 30-,
60-, or 90-gallon cans as
part of its unit pricing
                  Container Options

                     Communities that decide to design a
                  volume-based unit pricing program must consider the
                  type and size of waste collection containers on which
                  to base their rate structure and billing system. Keep
                  in mind that choices about containers, rate
                  structures, and  billing systems all go hand in hand. In
                  some cases, container type will dictate the rate
                  structure and billing system. In other cases, an
                  established billing system (that cannot be drastically
                  overhauled) can govern container type and rate structure.

   A unit pricing program can be designed around the following container
   Large cans.  Under this system, households are provided with
   single, large waste cans, often with a capacity of 50 or 60 gallons.
   Each household is then charged according to the  number of cans that
   they use.
   Small or variable cans. This system uses a set of standard.
   graduated can sizes, often ranging from approximately 20 to 60
   gallons in capacity. Typically, these systems operate on a subscription
   basis, under which residents choose in advance the number and size
   of cans they wish to use.
   Prepaid bags.  This system uses colored or otherwise distinctively
   marked standard-sized trash bags, typically 20 to 30 gallons in
   capacity. Residents purchase the bags from the solid waste agency
   through outlets such as municipal offices and retail stores. Only
   waste that is placed in the bags is collected.
   Prepaid tags or stickers. Residents purchase tags or stickers
   from the solid waste  agency and affix them to their own  trash bags.
   The tag or sticker specifies the size of bag it covers.
                                Each system has its own specific advantages and disadvantages related
                            to such issues as 1) offering a system that residents view as equitable:
                            2) creating as direct an economic incentive for waste reduction as possible;
                            and 3) assuring revenue stability for the solid waste agency. Other issues
                            to consider when weighing the pros and cons of different container types
                            include simplicity of billing, compatibility with existing waste collection
                            services, ease of collection for work crews, sanitation and aesthetics,
                            budgetary constraints, and community solid waste goals.

                                The primary benefit of a single, large  container size is  revenue
                            stability. When communities use large containers, the number of cans set
                            out each week tends to remain fairly constant, and so do revenues. The
                            primary disadvantage associated with this container choice is that
                            households that don't generate much waste have no economic incentive

                                                                                         PART  III
to reduce waste. Such households are billed the same amount
whether they fill a 60-gallon can halfway or completely.

   Conversely, the principal benefit of using variable can sizes
is that even modest reductions in waste generation (for example,
one less 10-gallon waste container) can clearly translate into
savings. A disadvantage of variable cans is that they can be
inconvenient for customers who generate large volumes of waste.
In addition, to realize savings from reduced waste generation,
households must request a change in the number of cans for
which they are being billed. The solid waste agency might need
to establish an inventory and distribution system that could be
expensive to set up and maintain. Additionally, billing for this
method can be more complex in some communities.

    Like variable cans, prepaid bags encourage greater waste
reduction than large cans if the bag size is configured so that
residents that generate less waste pay less. Additionally, since
residents pay for waste collection through the purchase of the
bags, there is no billing, which means this type of system is
relatively inexpensive to implement and maintain. The primary
disadvantage associated with bags is that there is greater revenue
uncertainty than with can systems. An individual might, for
example, buy several  months' worth of bags at one time and then
none for many weeks. Also, semiautomatic collection vehicles
that require residents to use a rigid container might not be able to
adapt to bag collection. Bags also can tear or be torn open by
animals, resulting in scattered trash.

    Prepaid  tag or sticker systems offer many of the same advantages as
bag systems. Chief among these is that such systems directly encourage
waste reduction, since different stickers can be used to identify different
amounts of waste "set-outs" (the waste residents set out for collection).
This means, however, that the solid waste agency must establish and
enforce size limits for each type of sticker. As with bags, waste collection
is paid for upfront, so no billing needs to be done. Also like bags, stickers
or tags offer less revenue stability. In addition, stickers can fall off in
rainy or cold weather, and both  tags and stickers can be counterfeited or

    The advantages and disadvantages of each of these container options
are described in more detail in Table 3-2 at the end of this chapter. You
don't have to be locked into one type of system, however, if you plan for
the possibility of change. Some communities conduct a pilot  program in
one part of the municipality before implementing unit pricing
communitywide. In this way, difficulties can  be worked out early in the
process, when modifications are still relatively easy.
                ;s and
         stickers will help
                n and

                                             DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

   While the details of the pricing structures used in unit pricing
programs can vary greatly according to local conditions and needs, four
basic types are currently in use. These pricing structures are described

Pricing Structures

    The main consideration in choosing among the types of pricing
structures is their impact on the stability of the community's revenues
and on residents' waste reduction efforts. In addition, some pricing
systems are more complex than others to administer.

1. The proportional (linear) rate system is the simplest rate structure. It
entails charging households a flat price for each container of waste they
place out for collection. This rate structure provides a strong incentive
for customers to reduce waste. It also is easy to administer and bill.
Careful consideration is often required, however, to select a price per
container that avoids cash flow difficulties that can hinder a new
program. While setting too high a price will increase resistance to unit
pricing, setting too low a price may cause periodic revenue shortfalls
(and can lessen the waste reduction incentive). In addition, when setting
rates, decision-makers should assume that some level of waste
compaction will occur. They also should plan for success, since as people
begin to reduce the amount of waste they set out, the solid waste  agency
will see a corresponding drop in revenues paid for waste collection.
                         Weighing the  Tradeoffs When Setting Pricing Structures

                         Decision-makers considering such issues as container choices, rate structures,
                         and service options quickly realize that all of these choices are closely related.
                         Decisions in one area will influence, or even determine, how your community
                         responds to the remaining choices.

                         When considering container options, for example, a smaller community with
                         fewer resources might favor a bag-based system because of its generally lower
                         implementation and administrative expenses. Such systems, however, have the
                         potential for revenue gaps that the community might not be able to bridge. As a
                         result, a community might prefer a two-tiered or multi-tiered rate structure,
                         whose  base fee would help prevent such instability.

                         By contrast, a larger community interested in providing a stronger incentive to reduce
                         waste might favor a proportional or variable container rate and higher per container
                         fees. To avoid significant revenue fluctuations, such communities might choose a
                         can-based subscription system that ensures a steady cash flow.

                         There is no one best approach to unit pricing. Throughout the design process, you
                         will need to determine the specific combination of container choices, rate
                         structures, and service options that will maximize efficiency and enable your
                         community to meet its solid waste goals.

                                                                                           PART III
2. With a variable container rate, a different rate is charged for different
size containers. For example, a solid waste agency might charge
households $2 for every 60-gallon can of waste set out and $1.25 for
every 30-gallon can. While this system creates a strong incentive for
residents to reduce waste, it requires that communities carefully set their
rates to ensure revenue stability. Because different rates are charged, this
system can be complicated to administer and bill.

3. Both of these systems use a per-container fee to cover the fixed and
variable costs associated with a community's MSW management. Other
unit pricing rate structures address fixed and variable costs separately.
Two-tiered rate systems assess households both a fixed fee and a per
container fee. Under this system, a monthly flat fee is set for solid waste
services to ensure that fixed costs are covered; a separate, per-container
charge is then used to cover the variable costs. In Pennsburg,
Pennsylvania, the solid waste agency charges residents a flat $65 per year
plus $1 per 30-gallon bag of waste placed at the curb for pickup. This
system provides more stable revenue flows for the community but offers
less waste reduction incentives than proportional or variable container
rates. Some communities use the two-tiered rate structure as a transition
system. Once  decision-makers are able to gauge customers' response to
unit pricing,  a proportional rate structure could be introduced to
encourage greater waste  reduction.

4. Multi-tiered rate systems charge households a fixed fee, plus variable
fees for different container sizes. For example, a community might charge a
basic $10 monthly service fee plus $2 per 60-gallon can, or $1 per 30-gallon
bag. This rate structure offers similar advantages to two-tiered rates and also
encourage waste reduction. This type of rate structure is the most complex,
however, and could be difficult to administer and bill.
 Table 3-1.
 Pricing Options
 Proportional (linear)
 Variable container

Flat rate per container
Different rates for different size containers
Flat fee (usually charged on a monthly basis)
and flat rate per container
Flat fee (usually charged on a monthly basis)
and different rates for different size containers
                                              DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

Billing and Payment Systems

   Traditional solid waste programs typically assess households a fixed
fee, raised through property taxes or periodic equal billing of all
households. Unit pricing programs use various billing/payment systems,
such as direct payment for containers, actual set-outs, and payment for
advance subscriptions.

   With a direct payment system, residents pay for solid waste services
by purchasing bags or tags from the solid waste agency. Containers can be
sold at the courthouse  or city hall, at local retail stores, or at the hauler's
office. Care should be taken to ensure that a sufficient number of easily
accessible outlets are available for residents.

   Under subscription systems, residents notify the solid waste agency
of their "subscription level," or the number of containers they anticipate
setting out each collection cycle. The customer is then billed on a regular
basis for these containers. If customers are able to reduce the amount of
waste they generate, they can select a lower subscription level and save
money. In many programs, these subscription fees are set at a level that
covers the purchase of a designated number of additional bags or cans for
any waste that a customer disposes of above their subscription level. This
system offers fewer fluctuations in revenues, although the waste reduction
incentive is lower because residents who reduce their waste generation rate
only receive a reduction in their waste collection bill after requesting the
municipality to change the number of cans for which they pay.

   An actual set-out system bills customers based on the actual number
of containers set out for collection. This approach requires the hauler to
count the number of bags, tags, or cans set out and to record the
information so that households can be billed later.

   To address citizens' concerns about "hidden" or "double" fees, some
communities that implement unit pricing either reduce the household tax
rate commensurate with the unit pricing fee or decide not to raise the tax
base proportionately with the revenues received from unit pricing. Meet
with the citizens advisory council to work out the details for a pricing
system geared to your local needs and circumstances.

Accounting Options

   Regardless of how they collect payment, most communities tend to
manage the finances of their solid waste activities as one item in the
municipal budget. A few communities, however, are using alternative
accounting approaches to complement their unit pricing programs. One
such approach is the use of "full cost accounting." Using full cost
accounting enables a community to consider all costs and revenues
associated with a task such as solid waste management, including
depreciation of capital costs, amortization of future costs, and a full
accounting of indirect costs. This method can help a community

establish a unit pricing rate structure that will generate the revenues
needed to cover all solid waste management costs.

   Another approach that can be used in conjunction with a unit pricing
program is the development of an "enterprise fund."  Also referred to as
special districts, enterprise funds are entities that can be used to
separately manage the finances of a municipality's solid waste activities.
In this way, the costs and revenues of unit pricing are accounted for
under a separate budget, enabling a community to better anticipate;
revenue shortfalls and, when appropriate, invest  surplus revenues in
beneficial waste management  projects that can reduce the cost of MSW
management in the future.

Program Service Options

   The next step is to determine which solid waste services are most
important to residents. Successful programs offer an array of solid waste
services that citizens need and appreciate. The goal-setting process
described in Part II of this guide identifies many  of these services.

   Offering different services does add layers of  complexity to a unit
pricing program, especially to the billing component. Yet providing such
service enhancements greatly increases overall citizen acceptance of the
program. A carefully selected and priced service
array allows a community to offer premium
municipal solid waste services to households that
want them, while generating sufficient revenues to
support core solid waste collection services. The
following sections highlight some of the most
popular service options, many of which are
complementary to basic trash removal.

   Complementary Programs

   Complementary programs are those that
enhance the unit pricing  program and encourage
residents to prevent and reduce waste. The most
common complementary  programs are 1) recycling
and 2) collection of yard  trimmings for composting.
Providing recycling and composting collection services enables  both
types of programs to  reach their maximum effectiveness. In fact, in many
cases, recycling and composting are major contributors to the success of a
unit pricing program.

   Many communities already have some type of curbside collection or
voluntary drop-off recycling program in place. Linking recycling and
composting with unit pricing provides customers with an environmentally
responsible way to manage their waste. In addition, since the cost of
these programs can be built in to unit pricing fees, communities can
recover these expenses without creating an economic disincentive to
recycle. The extent of the recycling program is an important factor, as

  Providing a rec \
program in conji:
         Pricing can

     m of wast:
                                             DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

                * HomMm*; GuMt
                 "Cycling Yard
Complementary programs can
benefit from a strong public
     •on effort.
                        well. A community will more fully realize the
                        benefits of offering recycling in tandem with
                        unit pricing if the recycling program is geared
                        to collect a wide range of materials (although
                        the availability of local markets can constrain
                        the types of materials a community can accept).

                           Providing for removal of yard trimmings
                        such as leaves, branches, prunings, and grass
                        clippings, and promoting backyard composting
                        and "grasscycling" (leaving grass trimmings on
                        the lawn), also will enhance the unit pricing
                        program. For example, the community of
                        Austin, Texas, mixes the yard trimmings it
                        collects from residents with sewage sludge to
                        produce compost called "Dillo Dirt." which is
                        sold to nurseries as fertilizer, and Durham.
                        North Carolina, makes landscaping mulch from
brush. Distributing "how-to" materials can help increase the amount of
organic waste residents compost, and some municipalities oven provide
their residents with free compost bins.

   In communities where weekly recycling or composting is too costly.
curbside collection can be scheduled every other week or once a month.
In addition, municipalities can encourage haulers to  provide recycling
services by including a risk-sharing clause in their contracts. Such
clauses require the municipality to share with the hauler the risk of
fluctuations in the price of recyclable materials. If a recycling company
requires payment to process a certain collected material whose value had
dropped substantially, for example, the hauler and municipality would
bear these costs together. Some communities, however, might not feel
their budget would allow them to incur additional, unexpected costs.
                              Backyard Collections

                              Backyard collection of waste and/or recyclables can be considered as
                           a service enhancement that complements a unit pricing system. With this
                           service, haulers remove residential waste and recyclables from backyards.
                           garages, or wherever residents prefer, rather than requiring thorn to haul
                           the material to the curb. Residents might pay extra for this service. When
                           setting a price for backyard collection services, a community should
                           consider costs to collect waste from the curb, transport it, and dispose of
                           it. The higher charge for backyard waste removal should reflect the added
                           municipal resources required for such a service.

                              Curbside Collection of Bulky Items

                              Curbside collection of large items, such as refrigerators and other
                           major appliances, is another service that complements basic trash
                           removal. In  some communities with unit pricing, residents pay extra to

                                                                                           PART III
have bulky items picked up and disposed of by the municipality. The
disposal of bulky items, which cannot fit into most unit-pricing programs'
cans or bags, can be charged for within a unit pricing system by using
printed stickers or tags that are attached to the item. To establish fair
prices, the solid waste agency can use the same collection, transportation,
and disposal cost considerations that apply to establishing prices for
standard unit pricing waste collections. The price could be set in advance
of collection, based on the owner's description of the item, or after
collection, based on the collection agency's observations.

Multi-Family Housing

   One of the biggest challenges for communities implementing unit
pricing is  how to include multi-family (five units or more) residential
structures into the program. Such buildings can house a large portion of
the population, particularly in densely populated areas. Because waste often
is collected from residents of such structures per building, rather than per
unit, it might be difficult to offer these residents a direct economic
incentive to reduce waste with unit pricing. To compound this problem,
because many multi-family buildings receive less convenient recycling
services than single-family housing units, residents of multi-family
buildings might have fewer avenues for waste reduction.

   There are several possible  options to resolve multi-family barriers.
One option is to have the building manager sell bags or tags to each
resident. When households use these tags or bags, those that generate
more waste end up paying more for waste collection. Problems arise
    Tips  for Accommodating  Residents of Multi-Family

    A number of ideas were presented at EPA's Unit Pricing Roundtable to help
    extend to residents of multi-family households the direct economic incentives
    inherent in unit pricing. One suggestion was to request that building managers
    pass on trash collection savings to residents in the form of cash rebates, rent
    reductions, or some free building services, although the impact of the
    incentive would be diluted since it is spread over all the tenants in the
    New technologies, such as a bar code reader to identify  the tenant and a
    scale at the bottom of the chute to record the weight, also were suggested
    as possible solutions. These technologies offer the potential for accurately
    recording the exact waste generation for each tenant.
    In addition, building codes for new and renovated buildings could be
    amended to require the installation of separate chutes for recycling and
    for garbage disposal. Residents also could be required to use a trash token
    or some type of identifying code to gain access to a garbage chute.
                                              DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

In some communities,
backyard collection can be
arranged as a service for
disabled or elderly residents.
when households do not comply with this system, however. In many
cases, residents can easily place waste in the building dumpster without
paying for a bag or sticker. Another approach is to modify the system of
placing waste out for collection in multi-family buildings. For example,
dumpsters or garbage chutes could be modified to operate only  when a
magnetic card or other proof of payment is used. Such modifications can
be expensive, though. Communities with unit pricing systems in  place are
experimenting with other possible solutions  to the multi-family barrier. If
extending unit pricing service to multi-family buildings is a concern in
your community, consider contacting other cities or towns that  have
addressed this issue for additional ideas. (A listing of these
communities is provided in Table 3-2 at the back of this section.)

Residents With  Special  Needs

   Many communities considering unit pricing arc concerned about the
special needs of physically limited or disabled citizens and those living
on fixed or low incomes. For example, some  senior citi/ens and disabled
residents may be physically unable to move  trash containers to  the curb.
Communities may wish to consider offering  such residents backyard
collection services at a reduced rate or at no extra charge. Such special
considerations should be factored in to your unit pricing rate structure.

   While the fees associated with unit pricing could represent a potential
problem for some residents, unit pricing systems can be structured to
allow everyone to benefit. To provide assistance to residents with
special financial needs, communities can reduce the per-household waste
                        collection charges by a set amount, offer a
                        percentage discount, or provide a credit on the
                        overall bill. In some cases, communities with unit
                        pricing programs offer a certain number of free
                        bags or stickers to low-income residents. Some
                        communities charge everyone equally for bags
                        or tags but reduce  the base service charge for
                        low-income households. Assistance also can
                        be offered through existing low-income
                        programs, particularly other utility assistance

                           These techniques allow low-income
                        households to benefit from some assistance while
                        retaining the incentive to reduce their bill for
waste services by practicing source reduction, recycling,  and composting.
Communities will need to determine how to  identify the amount of
assistance they will offer based primarily on the program's anticipated
revenues. As a basis for establishing eligibility for assistance, some
communities with unit pricing programs use income criteria such as federal
poverty guidelines.

                                                                                                  PART  III
                                                                         ©retainer Systems
Revenues are fairly stable and easy to

Unlike bags, cans often work well with
semiautomated or automated
collection equipment (if cans are
chosen that are compatible with this

If residents already own trash cans of
roughly uniform volume, new cans
might not be required.

Cans may be labeled with addresses to
assist in enforcement.

Cans prevent animals from scattering
the waste.
Cans often have higher implementation
costs, including the purchase and
distribution of new cans.

Customers have a limited incentive
to reduce waste. Since residents are
usually charged on a subscription
basis, there is no incentive not to fill
cans already purchased. In addition,
no savings are possible below the
smallest size trash can.

Relatively complex billing systems are
needed to track residents' selected
subscription level  and bill accordingly.

Complex storage, inventory, and
distribution systems are required to
provide new cans to households that
change their subscription level.

A method of collecting and charging
for waste beyond subscription levels
and for bulk waste collections needs
to be established.

At the outset, residents may find it
difficult or confusing to select a
subscription level.

Nonautomated can collections tend
to require greater time and effort
than collecting waste in bags.
Using This System
Hennepin County, MN

Seattle, WA

Anaheim, CA

King County, WA
(in unincorporated areas)

Marion County, OR
Pasadena, CA

Glendale, CA

Oakland, CA

Bellevue, WA

Santa Monica, CA

Duluth, MN

Richmond, CA

Walnut Creek, CA

Santa Clara, CA

Auburn, WA

Hastings, MN
                                                DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

Residents find bag systems easy to

Bag systems might offer a stronger
waste reduction incentive than can
systems because fees typically are
based on smaller increments of waste.

Accounting costs are lower than with
can systems, since no billing system is

Bag systems have lower distribution,
storage, and inventory costs than can
systems when bags are sold at local
retail establishments and municipal

Bag collections tend  to be faster and
more efficient than nonautomated
can collections.

Bags can be used to  indicate that the
proper fees have been  paid for bulky
items or white goods, since fees for
pickup of these items (above the
subscription level) often are assessed
by communities. Communities can
ask residents to attach a certain
number of bags to the items according
to the cost of disposal (for example,
two bags for a couch and three bags
for a washing machine).
                                    Using This System
Greater revenue uncertainty than
with can-based systems, since the
number of bags residents purchase
can fluctuate significantly.

If bags are sold in municipal offices,
extra staff time be will need to be

Residents might view a requirement
to buy and store bags as an

Bags are more expensive than tags
or stickers.

Bags often are incompatible with
automated or semiautomated
collection equipment.

Animals can tear bags and scatter
trash, or bags can tear during lifting.

Unlike cans, bags are not reused,
adding to the amount of solid waste
entering the waste stream.
Grand Rapids, Ml

Reading, PA

Lansing, Ml

St Cloud, MN

Darien, IL

Carlisle, PA

Quincy, IL

Oregon, Wl

Fallbrook, CA

                                                                        Container Systems



Tag and sticker systems are easier and
less expensive to implement than can

Residents often find tag or sticker
systems easier to understand.

These systems  offer a stronger waste
reduction incentive than can  systems
because fees are based on smaller
increments of waste.

Accounting costs are lower than with
can systems,  since no billing system is

Selling tags or stickers at local retail
establishments  and municipal offices
offers lower  distribution, storage, and
inventory costs than can systems.

The cost of producing tags or stickers
for sale to residents is lower than for

Stickers can be used to indicate
payment for  bulky items or white
goods, since  fees for pickup of these
items (above the subscription level)
often are assessed by communities.
                                    Using This System
There is greater revenue uncertainty   Tompkins County, NY
than with can-based systems, since the
number of tags or stickers residents    Aurora, IL
purchase can fluctuate significantly.
                                             To avoid confusion among residents,
                                             the municipality must establish and
                                             clearly communicate the size limits
                                             allowable for each sticker,

                                             If tags or stickers are sold in municipal
                                             offices, extra staff time will need to be

                                             Residents might view a requirement to
                                             buy and store stickers or tags as an

                                             Tags and stickers often do not adhere
                                             in rainy or cold weather.

                                             Extra time might be needed at curb
                                             for collectors to enforce size limits. In
                                             addition, there may be no incentive for
                                             strict enforcement if haulers are paid
                                             based on the amount of waste collected.

                                             Stickers left on trash at curbside could
                                             be removed by vandals or by other
                                             residents hoping to avoid paying for
                                             waste services.

                                             Tags and stickers are not as noticeable
                                             as bags or other prepaid indicators.
                                    Grand Rapids, Ml

                                    Lansing, Ml
                                               DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

Putting the  Blocks  Together
             Now that you hove identified the components of unit pricing programs in general,
             you are ready to design a program that meets your community's specific needs
             and goals. "Putting the Blocks Together" presents a six-step process that can
             assist you in designing and evaluating your preliminary rate structure. This process
             should begin approximately six months before the start of your program.
                Performing the Six-Step Process

                As you are completing these steps, be sure to keep a few basic objectives in

                • Raise sufficient revenues to cover fixed costs and variable costs.

                • Possibly raise revenues beyond the cost of the program to cover other
                   waste management costs.  These revenues might be used for antilittering
                   campaigns or to discourage illegal dumping.

                • Send clear price signals to  citizens to encourage waste reduction.

                • Charge appropriate fees to cover the costs of 1) recycling and other
                   complementary programs, 2) providing services (such as backyard
                   collection) for physically limited or disabled people, and 3) any discount
                   pricing provided to low-income households.

                • Compile accurate MSW baseline data to be used when evaluating  your
                   unit pricing program.

                • Design a program simple enough to keep administrative costs low and to
                   make it easy for people to participate in the program, thereby reducing both
                   their waste generation and their waste collection bill.

                • Also, don't forget to consider your unit pricing goals, community-specific
                   conditions, and the most  promising suggestions from municipalities with
                   existing unit pricing programs to ensure a program tailored to the waste
                   management needs and concerns of your community.

                       PUTTING THE BLOCKS TOGETHER
                                                                               PART III

Estimate Total Amount of Waste Generated in the "Steady-State

Because the amount of waste your community generates affects the level of resources
(including trucks, labor, and administrative support) required to manage it, you need
to accurately estimate what the community's waste generation rate will be after your
unit pricing program is fully established. This period is referred to as the "steady-state." In
the steady-state, residents have accepted unit pricing and  reduced their waste generation
rates accordingly, and the municipality's waste management  operations have adjusted to
new, lower waste collection requirements.

                   TRANSITION PERIOD
Program Monitoring
        Ensuring that the revenues received under the unit pricing program will cover the
        program's costs is a critical factor for most communities. As a result, accurately
        estimating the amount of waste collected  in the steady-state is an important first step in
        determining how much money unit pricing will actually generate. To develop such an
        estimate, perform the following calculations:
        } Current demand. Using your waste hauling records, estimate the amount of waste
        collected from residents last year.
        } Community growth. Next, estimate the population growth trends and other
        demographic patterns in your community.  Use this information to estimate the demand
        for waste management services over the next one or two years. This information can
        be developed  in several ways; the box entitled "Forecasting Community Growth Trends"
        on page 36 discusses some different approaches. (Note: If you are planning special
        programs for low-income, elderly, or multi-family households, you should estimate the
        population trends of these residents or households as well.)
        t Impact of unit pricing. Then, estimate the likely impact (i.e., household
        responsiveness) of unit pricing on this demand for waste services. Other communities with
        unit pricing programs in place might be a good source of information on the degree of waste
        generation reduction to be expected. Some communities have achieved 25 to 45 percent
        reductions in waste generation rates, depending on such factors as the use of complementary
        programs, the  design of the unit pricing rate structure, and the effectiveness of the public
        education effort. Be sure not to underestimate the potential success of your unit pricing
        program, especially if strong public education and complementary programs are planned.
        Underestimating waste reduction will cause you to overestimate potential revenues.
                                            DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

         Use this information on current demand, community growth, and the impact of unit pricing
         to estimate the total amount of solid waste you expect will be generated once the unit
         pricing program has been established.
            Forecasting Community Growth Trends

            Forecasting trends in the growth of a community's population is an important step in accurately
            estimating the amount of waste generated under an ongoing unit pricing program. Typically, the
            degree of sophistication a community brings to this process will vary with the information and
            resources available.

            For example, if your community is small and you expect no change in population trends, per capita
            waste generation, and commercial or industrial growth, you could use a simple trend analysis to
            forecast growth. Your estimation of current waste generation amounts might be based on a waste
            characterization assessment, historical records from collection services and disposal facilities, or
            estimates based on similar communities' analyses. Extending these trends can provide an
            estimate of future demand for solid waste services. If you base your estimates on other
            communities' analyses, be sure to choose communities that are similar to yours in size, population,
            income distribution, urban/rural distribution, and economic base. In addition, using the most
            recent analyses available will increase the accuracy of your estimation.

            In contrast, if your community is large and you expect a change in current trends, you probably will
            need to use a sophisticated forecasting equation that will account for all the variables you identify. Your
              ylid waste agency may have collected data on a number of factors that previously have influenced  the
              iount of waste generated by the community (such as  housing construction, plant closings, household
              :ome. economic growth, and age distribution of the population). You  could base projections of
              ture demand for solid waste services by introducing these data into your forecasting equation.
Determine the Components of Your  Unit Pricing Program

After clarifying your community's goals and considering the pros and cons of the unit
pricing program options described earlier in this section of the guide, you will be ready to
determine the methods your solid waste agency will use to collect waste from residents and
other details of your unit pricing program, including:
} Containers. After considering their practical implications, decide whether your unit
pricing program would be most effective using cans, bags, tags or stickers,  or some type
of hybrid system. Determine the volume of the containers  to be used.
^ Service Options. While most unit pricing programs will include curbside collections,
decide whether your program would  benefit from such additional services as backyard
collections and picking up bulky items  such as white goods.

                       PUTTING THE  BLOCKS TOGETHER
        | Complementary waste management programs. If your community is not
        already operating programs like recycling or composting, consider whether you might
        implement them to enhance the effectiveness of your unit pricing program  and to help
        meet other community goals.
        ) Residents of multi-family buildings and low-income residents. Determine how
        your community plans to extend the economic benefits of unit pricing to residents of
        multi-family buildings and to deal with the needs of low-income residents and the elderly.
Estimate the Costs of Your  Unit  Pricing Program

Having determined the structure of your program and the services to include, list all
associated costs. Categories of costs can include:
} Start-up costs. Estimate the one-time costs your community will incur when
implementing the unit pricing program, such as training personnel, purchasing new
containers, and designing and implementing a new billing process.
t Ongoing costs.  Estimate the costs your program will incur on an ongoing basis. These
costs include variable costs (such as landfill tipping fees) and more stable or fixed costs
(including rent and utilities for agency offices and office supplies) that remain relatively
constant despite fluctuations in the amount of waste collected. Be sure to consider any extra
costs from providing special services to certain groups. (Some communities might find it
useful to employ full cost accounting procedures to better understand the exact costs of
the different projects planned as part of the unit pricing program.)
Develop a Tentative Unit Pricing Rate Structure
        Having determined the components of your program, you can now set a tentative rate
        structure. At this point, the rates should be considered merely rough estimates to be
        revised and refined in light of the overall revenues they will generate and how acceptable
        the costs will be to residents. The rates you start with can be borrowed from the figures
        used by neighboring unit pricing communities offering similar services or adapted from
        price ranges found nationally. As you work through the remaining steps in the process of
        setting a rate structure, you can determine whether the rates are appropriate and make
        adjustments accordingly. Be sure to specify any lower rates that you plan to make available to
        some portions of your community (such as discounts for low-income households).
                                            DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

Calculate the Revenues From  Unit Pricing
        You now have the information needed to estimate the revenues that your unit pricing
        program will generate once it has been established and residents have adjusted their
        waste generation rates accordingly. Divide the total amount of waste generated per
        month in the steady-state (estimated in Step 1) by the volume  of containers, such as bags
        or cans, you established in Step 2. This provides an estimate of the number of containers
        of solid waste you expect to collect per month. Then multiply the  estimated number of
        containers by the unit charge you have tentatively established in Step 4. This yields an
        estimate of the total revenues per month generated under unit pricing.
        Depending on the number of services offered and the unit pricing  structure itself, these
        calculations can  be simple or complex! For example, communities using cans of varying
        sizes and offering additional services (such as backyard waste collection) must estimate
        the revenues produced by each component of their solid waste program. In addition, if
        low-income households are subsidized under your program, be sure to calculate the size
        of the subsidies  and subtract from the expected revenues.
Evaluate and Adjust Your Preliminary Unit Pricing Program
        For most communities, comparing the anticipated costs of their unit pricing program
        (Step 3) against expected revenues (Step 5) will provide the critical indication of whether
        the program is viable. (In this step you must be able to rely on accurate baseline data for
        gauging the viability of your program.) If this  comparison  indicates that the costs of your
        unit pricing program might not be fully covered by its revenues, you need to review both
        the design of the  program (Step 2) and the rates you  plan  to charge (Step 4). Several
        revisions of program options and rate structures may  be required to achieve a unit
        pricing program  that most closely meets the goals established by the community in
        the planning phase (see Part II).
        Once you feel that your program strikes a working balance between costs incurred for
        services provided and the prices residents will be charged, it might be appropriate to
        submit the program design to other municipal officials or community leaders for
        additional input. This process of review and comment can  continue until a balanced
        program agreed upon by community representatives has been established.

The Six Steps in Action:
Designing a Rate Structure for Community A

To illustrate the steps in action, we will follow Community A, a hypothetical town, as it designs
a rate structure for its new unit pricing program based on its own particular goals and concerns.

Estimating waste generation rates. Community A's records show that it collected
480,000 cubic yards of solid waste from residents last year. Municipal officials realize that
the population of the town is likely to increase next year after a large multi-use building
complex is completed. Based on population projections prepared by town planners,
officials estimate that, at the current rate, residents will generate nearly 600,000 cubic
yards of solid waste annually two years from now. Within this two-year period, however,
officials hope their unit pricing program will have reached its steady-state,  and residents
will be generating less waste. Using data from three nearby, demographically similar
towns that have established unit pricing programs, municipal officials estimate that two
years after implementation of the unit pricing program the community will generate
about 410,000 cubic yards of waste annually.

Establishing rates. At this stage in the design process, municipal officials in Community
A decide to use the median rate of the prices charged by other communities across the
country ($1.75 per 30-gallon bag). In addition, this rate is very close to the price adopted
by the three nearby unit pricing communities for their 30-gallon containers.

Calculating revenues. Dividing the annual amount of solid waste Community A expects
to generate in the steady-state  (410,000 cubic yards) by the size of their waste container
(30 gallons or 0.15 cubic yards) shows that the municipality can expect to collect over
2,733,000 bags each year. By multiplying this figure by the price per bag ($1.75), officials
calculated that Community A should receive about $4,780,000 in revenues from its unit
pricing program each year.

Calculating costs. Community A estimates that the annual steady-state cost of its
program will include approximately $1,000,000 in fixed costs, such as public education
efforts, computers and other office materials, and enforcement efforts, and
approximately $2,700,000 in tipping fees and other variable costs. Combining these
figures produces an annual steady-state cost of approximately $3,700,000 for the
program. Additional start-up expenses also would be incurred.
Comparing costs and revenues. While recognizing that their program  must cover the
town's waste management costs completely, officials in Community  A agreed the town
should cover any start-up costs that exceeded revenues  during the initial transition period.
Therefore, when a comparison of the expected revenues against the costs  of the unit
pricing program showed that the program would generate excess revenues, municipal
officials decided to lower the price charged per bag to $1.35. This new price would yield a
projected $3,690,000 annually, closer to the town's actual costs of maintaining the program.

                                     DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM       39

  Balancing Costs and Revenues

                                         A community can select from an impressive array of service
                                         options when mapping out a unit pricing program. After estimating
                                         the demand for services in STEP 1, communities can plan for the
                                         services they will offer in STEP 2. Some communities will want to
                                         offer services such as backyard collections, comprehensive
                                         recycling programs, and assistance to residents with special needs.
                                         Bear in mind, however, that while these projects can help promote
                                         source reduction and increase citizen enthusiasm, they also can
                                         increase the cost of your program significantly. Use STEP 3 to help
                                         estimate the costs of the services you are planning to offer.

                                                      The flip side of costs is revenues. Unit pricing
                                                      allows communities to generate the revenues
                                                      needed to pay for solid waste management services
                                                      under the new program. In fact, when developing a
                                                      rate structure in STEP 4 and calculating the
                                                      resulting revenues in STEP 5, communities might
                                                      decide to set prices at a level above the cost of
                                                      their unit pricing program. This would further
                                                      encourage source reduction  among residents and
                                                      ensure that revenues could cover any shortfalls.
                                                      Since residents will only support a program they
                                                      feel charges a fair price for solid waste services,
                                                      however, there are limits to this strategy.

 To be successful over the long term, your unit
 pricing program will need to carefully balance the
 services you want to include against the revenues
 that residents provide. The exact formula will
 depend upon local conditions. Use STEP 6 to
 help you compare the costs of your planned
 program against anticipated revenues. Keep
 revising your rate structure until you feel that you
 have a program that offers the services you need
 at a price residents can support.

                                                                            & answers
How small should our smallest can or bag be?

Unit pricing communities agree that planning for success is important during the
design process. Some communities have found that cans as small as 10 to 20 ga//ons
are needed!  For example, Olympia, Washington, offers residents a 10-gallon can and
Victoria, British Columbia, uses a 22-gallon can as the base service level. A number of
communities using large containers (such as 60-gallon cans) are finding that these
containers are too large to offer customers meaningful incentives, but purchasing and
delivering new, smaller cans later in the program is very expensive.  In the short run, a
broader range of service can be provided by using several smaller cans. This also helps
keep the system flexible for future changes.

What  pricing rates are communities charging?
For bag systems in the Midwest and Pennsylvania,  communities charge about $1
to $2 per 30-gallon bag. For variable can programs in the Northwest and
California, towns charge $9 to $15 for the first level of service (20 to 40 gallons),
with charges for additional cans of service ranging  from 304 to $15.

We have an existing variable rate can  program. How can we
increase the  incentive for waste  reduction?
The key change to make is to base your billing on actual set-outs rather than using
a subscription approach. Offer smaller cans to encourage waste  reduction, and
consider a bag-based system. Upgrading composting and recycling options
(including plastics collection,  for example, if you don't already) also will provide an
incentive for customers to reduce waste. Communities a/so universally state that
education is critical to helping customers understand and work with the system.
Finally, consider a weight-based program. You might find that the cost of
implementing this type of program  is not prohibitive and that it can work in
tandem with your existing cans.

How can we  improve source separation of recyclable materials?
Some residents may tend to be sloppy about source separation regardless of the type
of solid waste pricing system. As people learn to reduce their costs by recycling more,
however, they may become more inclined to introduce nonrecyclables in their recycling
bins. Many communities have found the best solution is a good education and
enforcement program that creates a sense of"ownership among res/dents, supported
by peer pressure against such behavior. Some also impose a small charge for
recyclable materials in their rate structure design.
                                                DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM

            Points  to

               Remember that container options, complementary programs, rate
               structures, and billing systems are all interrelated. As you consider the
               different options, keep in mind the need to cover costs, keep the system
               simple and convenient, encourage waste reduction, and minimize
               administrative burdens on your agency.
               Tradeoffs must be considered as you make decisions about rate structures
               and program options. Balance, for example, the need to generate revenues
               against providing incentives for waste reduction.
               Consider complementary programs, such as recycling and collection of
               yard trimmings, to increase the effectiveness of unit pricing.
               Consider how to ensure that unit pricing's economic incentives to reduce waste
               can be extended to residents of multi-family housing in your community.
               Design your program to be flexible enough to allow for groups with
               special needs. Discount pricing or assistance programs might be necessary
               to ensure that the program encourages^aste reduction without imposing
               physical or financial burdens on handicapped or low-income members of
               your community.
                Refer back to your unit pricing goals when making rate structure
                decisions. While information from other communities with unit pricing
                programs is helpful, your own community's solid waste concerns should be
                the overriding factor.

                                                              Case    Studies
 Establishing a Rate Structure
 A View From Seattle

 Unit priding structure. Seattle has established a two-tiered, variable subscription
 can unit pricing program. To ensure support for the program from our City Council and
 residents in general, we needed to design a program that keeps rates low and revenues
 stable. To accomplish this, Seattle chose to adopt a two-tiered rate structure. The
 mandatory base charge (called a minimum charge) is $5.85 a month. We also charge
 $15 for each standard size (30-gallon) can per week. The Council pushed for this
 structure, believing it would keep overall rates down and send a strong environmental
 message to the community at the same time. There tends to be broad support for the
 single price per can.

 We also have introduced smaller can sizes. About 30 percent of our customers use minicans
 (19-gallon capacity), which cost $11.50 per week, and we soon will be providing microcan
 service (a 10-gallon container) for $9.35 per week. After talking with customers and
 observing their waste disposal habits, we found a lot of customers could fit their waste into a
 micro can. We expect about 10 percent of all customers to use the micro cans.

 CompBemeinitary sen-voces. After electing to collect yard trimmings as part of our
 program, we decided to set  a flat fee of $3 per household per month for this service,
 believing that a more complicated system would only make the program's
 administration prohibitively costly. We offer bulky item pick-up for $25 per item. The
 price was set to cover hauling and administrative costs.

 For waste that is generated above the subscription level, residents must attach a trash
 tag, marketed through local  retail outlets, to garbage  bags.  The trash tag system has
 been one of our less successful programs, partly because customers just don't know
 about it. In addition, our haulers do not always enforce the tag system. Since they get
 paid per ton of waste they pick up, they have no incentive to leave the waste at the
 curb. We estimate we forfeit anywhere from  $500,000 to $1 million dollars a year on
 fees not paid on this additional waste.
Tags and  Stickers
A View From Illinois

One of the major advantages of tags and stickers is that, since residents pay for them at
various outlets in the community, there is no billing at all. They also are applicable to
different types of services, containers, and waste, and they are easy to purchase and hold
on to until needed. Multiple tags or stickers can be used on bulky waste items, too.
Tags and stickers also are easy for collection personnel to use. Since every second they
spend at a stop costs money, the more data collection or enforcement that a community
                                               DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED UNIT PRICING PROGRAM       43

                        requires haulers to perform per stop, the less likely they are to do it. In addition, the
                        tags and stickers are still useful even  in  cases where collection personnel can't read or
                        But tags and stickers are not perfect. The hauler might not be able to find them.
                        People can steal them off other residents' garbage bags and put them on their own
                        bags. A special problem for stickers is that they can fall off in rainy or cold weather.
                        Furthermore, people may buy a large number of tags in January, and then none for
                        the next several months. Not only does this create an uncertain revenue supply, it also
                        makes predicting solid waste volume very difficult.
                        Experience With Weight-Based Systems
                        A View From Farmington, Minnesota, and Seattle, Washington

                        In Farmington, Minnesota, we worked for two years to develop and implement a
                        weight-based unit pricing program for our town of 5,000 residents. Our new system
                        uses fully automated trucks that require just one person per truck to hoist and weigh
                        the garbage can. The truck's weighing system reads a bar code on the can that
                        identifies the resident's name and address. The truck then empties the can and the
                        information is fed automatically into the billing system through an onboard computer.
                        This provides a reliable system for charging residents for waste collection by weight.

                        One issue we have to resolve is establishing an appropriate regulation for the weighing
                        mechanism used in our system. After Minnesota's Weights and Measures Agency
                        decided it did not have the authority to verify the scales on the trucks, the state
                        legislature adopted standardized weight and measure legislation establishing regulations
                        covering weighing equipment for garbage collection trucks. One issue that remains,
                        however, is that the degree of calibration required is too precise (the same as that for
                        grocery store scales). We are now in the process of petitioning for changes to make
                        the regulation more consistent with practical needs.

                        In Seattle, Washington, we tested two different weight-based systems: a
                        hand-dumped weight-based system and a semi-automated weight-based  system. The
                        hand dump  system, designed around a "hook scale" and a bar code, was tested over
                        the course of three months. The collector hung the can on the hook and used a
                        scanner on the bar code. The weight and number were recorded in a portable
                        calculator-sized computer and downloaded to a personal computer for calculating anc
                        mailing mock bills to customers. The second system we tested during a six-week trial
                        used a retrofitted semiautomated tipping arm and a radio-frequency tag. The weight
                        and customer identification number were automatically recorded during the dumping
                        cycle. Both approaches worked extremely well. The first system took about 10 percent
                        longer for collection; the second system operated exactly as the standard semiautomated
                        variable can  system and took no extra time. Surveys of customers participating in the
                        hand-dump system trial showed that it was very popular. Participating residents reduced
                        waste 15 percent by weight over the course of the testing.

                        In our research, we found that with the weight-based system, there are  advantages tc
                        customers buying their own containers. The cost is lower and, if the garbage is
                        hand-dumped, you do not need standardized containers. Under a  semiautomated
                        system, however, you might have  to require customers to buy specific containers.

                                                  PART    IV
     Implementing and  Monitorin;
     Unit Pricing
      aving carefully planned and designed a unit pricing
      program that best reflects the needs and concerns of
      your community, you can now get started.
      Implementing a unit pricing program is an ongoing
process, requiring persistent attention to a wide range of
details. This part of the guide focuses on the central issues
concerning unit pricing implementation, including public
education, accounting, and administrative changes.
Suggestions also are included for collecting data and
monitoring the program once it is in place.
There are two distinct schools of thought about the timing of
unit pricing implementation. One maintains that unit pricing
should be implemented within a specified time frame and
that rate adjustments, complementary programs such as
recycling, and any other changes be made all at once. The
other believes that households respond better when they are
asked to make changes in small, manageable increments over

The final decision about which path to follow is a local one
based on the views of your agency, the local government,
community organizations, and the households themselves. In
most towns, residents will prefer to modify their habits as
infrequently as possible. In this case, it might be easiest to
implement a package of changes all at once, rather than ask
for a series of adjustments six months apart.
                                IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

  Implementation Activities
                              Many tasks need to be performed during unit pricing implementation.
                           While the exact activities vary from community to community based on
                           program design and local conditions, certain tasks pertain to nearly all
                           unit pricing programs. These include conducting public relations and
                           reorganizing your solid waste agency's administrative office. (Both of
                           these activities are discussed in detail below.) Other common tasks

                           • Establishing legal authority.  Generally, to implement a unit
                              pricing program, your solid waste agency needs the authority to set
                              and approve waste collection rates and bill accordingly, establish an
                              ordinance mandating the use of the waste collection service, establish
                              penalties for illegal dumping, and spend solid waste agency funds for
                              activities beyond those associated with traditional solid waste
                              management services (for example, public education). If your
                              community lacks the authority to implement and enforce any portion
                              of the unit pricing program, the first step will be to  draft the
                              necessary ordinances in consultation with your legal counsel.
                           • Procuring containers. You also will need to purchase the
                              necessary waste containers, bags, tags, or stickers for the program.
                              Once the size and design specifications are established, you can seek
                              vendors for the required materials. In some cases, a request for
                              proposal (RFP) might be placed to solicit competing bids from several
                              vendors. This can help you procure the necessary materials at the
                              least cost to your agency. After a vendor is selected  and an order
                              placed,  storage and distribution plans will be needed. In particular,
                              communities planning to use local retailers to distribute bags, tags, or
                              stickers should identify and negotiate with local merchants to arrive
                              at a mutually beneficial arrangement. Communities developing a
                              can-based system will need to inform residents of the can options,
                              have residents select the number and size of cans they will use (if a
                              variable can system is used),  and distribute the cans to all residents.
                           • Assisting groups with special needs. If your community is
                              planning to assist residents with special needs, such as  multi-family,
                              low-income, physically handicapped, or elderly  residents, you will
                              need to develop a list of qualification criteria. In addition, you might
                              need to devise special applications and train staff to review cases.
                              Procedures should be established for resolving any  disputes or
                              complaints that could occur during the review process.  If you are
                              planning to include multi-family residents in your program, consider
                              planning and conducting a pilot program before  you switch to unit
                              pricing. In this way, different systems and technologies can be tested
                               prior to launching the actual program.

                                                                                         PART  IV
   Establishing complementary programs.  If you
   have decided to launch or expand recycling or
   composting efforts, bulky waste collections, or
   other complementary programs in conjunction with
   your unit pricing program, you will need to
   coordinate the many steps involved in establishing
   these programs. Depending on the resources
   available and on local conditions, these steps could
   include purchasing or modifying existing
   equipment, hiring and training collection staff,
   identifying local markets for recyclables, and
   contracting with buyers.
   Ensuring enforcement. Enforcement procedures
   could be established to address the possibility of
   illegal dumping or burning of waste, "borrowing" of
   tags or stickers from neighbors' bags, or nonpayment
   of fees. If necessary, enforcement staff can be hired
   and procedures developed  for investigating incidents.
   In many 
  As par-       lie outreach
  program, Seattle's Solid Waste
       s conveying important
          obout unit pricing
         es of engaging
   The first step is to determine the scope and content of your
community relations effort. All such efforts need to convey to residents
the exact structure of the new unit pricing program. Be sure to relate all
essential information, including:

  • The types and costs of all services offered under the  new
  • The schedule for collections.
  • The means by which fees will be collected.
  • The methods or outlets for purchasing cans, bags, tags, or
  • The penalties for noncompliance.
                            When imparting this information to the
                         community, make sure that all instructions
                         are clear and simple. Explain any unit
                         pricing concepts that residents might not
                         understand. If you are producing written
                         materials, consider translating the text into
                         more than one language, depending on the
                         makeup of your community. Use illustrations
                         whenever possible to convoy key concepts.
                         Sometimes local copying shops or printers
                         will donate their services to help produce
                         these materials.

                            Also, be sure to discuss the waste
                         management goals for the community and
                         show how the new unit pricing program will
                         help meet those goals. If you had organized a
                         citizens advisory council or an informal
                         gathering of community or civic groups to help
                         you with public outreach during the planning
                         stage, you might reconvene this group to plan
your implementation outreach efforts. Such a group can help you develop
an effective message and ensure that you reach all segments of the

   Offer citizens information on how to alter their purchasing and
behavior patterns to prevent and reduce waste. Tips on waste prevention
options, such as reusing containers, renting seldom-used equipment, and
donating unwanted items,  are useful. Encouraging residents to purchase
recyclable items and goods with recycled content also is important. In
addition, the message is likely to have a greater impact if information on
additional benefits, such as saving energy and preserving natural
resources, is provided. If residents make the program's goals their goals
too, they are more likely to make long-term behavioral changes.

                                                                                        PART IV
   There are many ways to convey the specifics of the program to the
community. While the solid waste agency will need to decide which
methods to use and how often to repeat the message, some avenues to
consider include:

  • Introducing the program with a flyer or letter from a local official or
    recycling coordinator.
  • Enclosing inserts in utility bills that discuss the program and answer
    common questions. Direct mailings to households also can be used.
  • Developing posters or flyers for distribution in  stores, libraries,
    schools, and other public places around the community. Retail stores
    will be especially valuable if your program uses bags, tags, or
    stickers that are distributed though retail  outlets. You can leave
    flyers, posters, newsletters, and other materials with these stores,
    and ensure that the retailers themselves are familiar with the
  • Producing newsletters that discuss the need for the program, answer
    questions, and provide updates about the program's progress.
  • Establishing a telephone hotline to provide residents with immediate
    answers to their questions.
  • Drafting press releases and developing media spots for radio or cable
    television. Through the media, you can reach a broad range of

   Additional outreach techniques can be employed based on your
community's particular conditions. For example, if you feel that a specific
group of residents, such as senior citizens, are not receiving enough
information to participate effectively, you might consider reaching out to
senior centers, local churches, and other institutions to ensure that
everyone is familiar with unit pricing.

   Some solid waste agencies opt to conduct public education campaigns
using existing inhouse staff. Others hire one or more qualified
individuals to conduct these activities or pay outside consultants to
perform public outreach. This decision is typically  based on the size of
your community, the scope of your program, and the available resources.

   Keep in mind that public outreach is an ongoing process. A consistent
flow of information, designed to answer questions,  receive input, and
communicate any changes made to the program after it has been
implemented, will help maintain interest in the program. In addition, an
ongoing campaign can continue to inform and educate citizens about new
ways to prevent or reduce waste.
                                              IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

  Reorganizing Your Solid Waste Agency's


                             Depending on their current structure and the scope of the new unit
                           pricing program, some solid waste agencies will not have to make
                           significant changes in the way they administer solid waste collection
                           services. Such communities can switch to unit pricing using only some
                           overtime work from existing employees. Other programs, however, could
                           require new administrative and accounting systems and staff to handle
                           the changes in billing, tracking costs and revenues, managing operations,
                           and maintaining customer relations. In some cases, larger communities
                           planning more complicated unit pricing systems have found it
                           worthwhile to hire analytical, financial, and customer service staff to
                           handle both the transition and ongoing requirements of the program.
                             Getting Your New Administrative Office On Line

                             The keys to transforming your solid waste agency's administration into
                             an efficient team capable of handling its new responsibilities are:

                             • Anticipating the level of expertise that will be necessary, both during
                                program implementation and ongoing operation.

                             • Giving funding priority to areas that hold the greatest opportunity for
                                savings or pose the greatest risk of financial problems.

                             • Meeting temporary needs during the transition with temporary help,
                                rather than locking in to a level of employment that proves excessive in
                                the long run.
                              While the process of reorganizing an administrative system for a new
                           unit pricing program can seem daunting, performing the switch as a
                           series of steps with clear objectives in mind will help make the process
                           manageable. Generally, communities with unit pricing programs have
                           found that the process of reorganizing the administrative office should
                           take place between three and six months before the start of the program.

                              The first step is to define the new responsibilities the administrative
                           office must assume once the program has reached its steady state, as
                           described in Part III. Consider all the functions, such as public relations,
                           customer service, economic analysis, financial management and tracking,
                           and enforcement, that the office will need to perform. With steady-state
                           as the goal, try to create a new office that matches these needs rather than
                           accommodate your goals to the skills that are available. After establishing

                                                                                         PART  IV
the functions and related skills required of your new administrative
office, you should then begin to reorganize the office to meet these

   During the process of defining new responsibilities, remember that
the unit pricing program will change the administrative office's functions
significantly. The office will be operating a revenue recovery system that
pays for the work of the solid waste agency, rather than justifying funding
levels to the municipality's budget office. The office will find it has an
unprecedented level of influence on customers' behavior through the
price signals it sends. This brings additional responsibility for the proper
design and management of these price signals. Managing these new
functions requires the office to have access to a range of skills, including:

• Economics.  Developing the unit pricing rate structure and related
   forecasts of revenues, costs, and total community use of waste
   collection, recycling, and composting programs.
• Public relations.  Developing outreach and education activities and
   managing customer service representatives. This function includes
   interaction with the general public, as well as local interest groups,
   elected officials, and the news media.
• Financial  and logistical management. Billing households or
   collecting revenues from the sale of bags, tags, or stickers; developing
   debt management strategies; managing cash reserves; and developing
   a distribution system  for the program's cans, bags,  tags, or stickers.
• Enforcement.  Ensuring that households pay for the level of solid
   waste services they receive.
   In addition, several important suggestions were offered during EPA's
Unit Pricing Roundtable for organizing your administrative office's
financial operations. Be sure to establish access to a cash reserve to help
the office cover periods of unanticipated revenue reductions. Repeated
instances of revenue shortfalls, however, could signal an imbalance
between the services offered and your program's rate structure.

   Preparing existing administrative staff for the changes that will result
from the switch to unit pricing is another important step. While the
change initially might not be viewed positively by all employees,
conveying the positive aspects of the switch might help ease concerns. In
addition to the reorientation of the office away from traditional collection
and disposal services to a new emphasis on waste prevention, recycling,
and composting, employees should be informed of the opportunities for
staff training and development in new areas, such as public relations and
customer service, that the new program will create.

   Furthermore, when organizing the new office, communities should be
aware that expanding the administrative office requires a delicate
balancing of resources: while allocating too much funding to the office
could cut into the savings that unit pricing programs offer, underfunding
the office can result in inefficiencies and poor revenue recovery. This is
                                              IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

                          particularly true during the implementation and transition periods,
                          before the unit pricing steady-state has been reached. During this period,
                          using temporary labor or employees on loan from other municipal
                          agencies might help to cover short-term budgeting, analytical, and other
  Developing a Schedule
                             Organizing the many steps involved in planning, designing, and
                          implementing a unit pricing program into a clear schedule is an essential
                          step for most communities. While the exact schedule of steps should be
                          viewed as flexible, establishing an overview of the entire process will
                          help eliminate the possibility of any serious omissions. Table 4-1 presents
                          a detailed timeline for your reference. (The dates listed on the timeline
                          represent the number of months before or after program implementation
                          each step should be initiated. Program implementation is defined as the
                          date on which actual service changes begin.)

                             While the dates have been established based on the experiences of a
                          number of communities with unit pricing programs in place, local
                          conditions and needs will inevitably affect the exact timing of your
                          program's development. Many factors affect how you adapt this timeline
                          to your community's needs, including equipment changes, contractual
                          changes, financing requirements, and employment, as well as political
                          factors (such as the nature and structure of the local political process and
                          the potential existence of a perceived solid waste crisis). In most cases,
                          the level of political support is the most important variable, routinely
                          cited by communities  as responsible for either significant delays or rapid
                          progress in the implementation of their unit pricing programs.  Most of
                          the remaining steps can be conducted fairly routinely in 3 to 12 months,
                          depending on system choices, size of the community, and types of solid
                          waste collection and administration systems in place.
  Program Monitoring and  Evaluation
                              As solid waste management has grown more challenging in recent
                           years, local officials are finding that they have greater freedom to develop
                           and implement new systems for managing waste. At the same time,
                           however, their efforts also are subject to a higher level of scrutiny. Within
                           the context of tightening municipal budgets and increasing demands for
                           city services of all types, local officials must be able to discuss budget
                           needs and priorities in a compelling way, using reliable data to support
                           their case. Specifically, a thorough process of collecting and analyzing
                           data about the performance of the unit pricing program will:

                                                                                         PART  IV
  • Provide the facts about the cost-effectiveness of the unit pricing
    program that local officials need to justify the current budget.
  • Enable planners to justify future budget
    needs by demonstrating that the new
    spending on the program could in fact
    save money in the long run.
  • Help reassure bond rating agencies of
    the cost-effectiveness of the unit pricing
    program, thereby  reducing the cost of
    financing it through bond sales.
  • Allow planners to  accurately compare the
    performance of any complementary
    programs, enabling them to reallocate
    resources among the programs to increase
    the overall effectiveness of unit pricing.
  • Generate concrete, understandable, and
    accurate  information that can help other
    communities considering unit pricing.
   Moreover, this data will enable solid waste agency planners to adjust the
unit pricing program to unforeseen circumstances, ensuring that the effort
and attention paid to planning, designing, and implementing the program
will not be wasted. Typically, program monitoring and evaluation begins
about six months before the date of unit pricing implementation, when
information on the old waste management system is gathered. These data
will act as a benchmark against which the progress of the unit pricing
program can be measured. Monitoring and evaluation begins as soon as the
new program is launched and continues throughout the program.

   Data collection is the first step  in program monitoring and evaluation.
While the exact types  of data a community  collects will vary from one
area to another, most municipalities track:

  • Changes in the community's waste generation rate
  • Costs incurred, both in  starting up and in operating the new program
  • Revenues received under the program

   Communities often begin by collecting data on the amount of waste
disposed of, recycled, and composted before  and after the program's
implementation. Estimates of the amount of  material illegally dumped can
be calculated as well. To allow for a more comprehensive analysis, the waste
generation rates can be tracked by month and year, and, if possible, by
origin and destination. In addition, the data can be further broken down by
facility, customer group (such as residential,  multi-family, commercial, or
industrial), and program (for example, drop-off versus curbside services). To
gain a more accurate picture of the impact of their program, some
communities also estimate the amount of waste that would have been
generated in the absence of the unit pricing program.

   The specific costs that a community might  want to research include
disposal costs and tipping fees; new administrative costs, including public
date i.
    adjust its prog'>
                                               IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

relations, billing and invoicing, inventory and distribution of bags, tags or
cans, and additional customer service staff; and direct program and service
costs such as wages, supplies, consultant services, and postage. Costs for
monitoring and cleaning up illegal dumping can be included as well.

   In addition, to increase the usefulness of cost data, communities
might want to attribute different expenses to specific components of unit
pricing (such as administrative labor or container costs) and track these
separate cost categories by month and year. Be careful, however, to
distinguish between short-term expenses and long-term investments  for
needed facilities and equipment. During this process, take care to
separate transition and startup expenses from the ongoing operational
costs of unit pricing. If possible, initial capital costs should be allocated
over time and across programs. Collecting data on the revenues resulting
from unit pricing tends to be simpler. Communities typically track
revenues by type of program and customer category.

   To closely track a new unit pricing program, communities also might
want to develop data on the number of subscribers or participants,
broken down into type of service and program; the service  and
subscription levels (if a variable can program is used); the inventories of
bags or tags held by  distributors or manufacturers; the weight of
containers set out (if possible, through surveys); and the numbers of
phone calls and letters and the issues raised.

   Program evaluation can yield misleading results, however. To help
avoid some common data collection and evaluation mistakes, panelists at
EPA's Unit Pricing Roundtable recommended avoiding focusing on
participation rates as a measure  of success. While a study of participation
levels can help guide program modifications, they are not useful for
gauging overall progress  since they do not address cost issues and tend
not to distinguish between casual and committed participants. Likewise,
panelists recommended that communities also consider factors beyond
overall waste reduction when evaluating a program. For example,
intangible issues, such as dissatisfaction with the program among
residents of multi-family buildings, would not be reflected in an analysis
that focused exclusively on waste reduction numbers.
                               Tips for Data  Collection and Program Monitoring

                               •  Get data from several different angles if possible (for example, waste
                                   quantity generation rates for both collection services and disposal facilities).
                               •  Don't simply accept the numbers as they are generated. Consider the
                                   possibility that factors such as underlying shifts in categories, definitions,
                                   or reporting might affect the accuracy of the results.
                               •  Be sure to carefully track costs. Without accurate and attributable data,
                                   the impact of your cost-effectiveness evaluation will be reduced.

                                                                                           PART IV
Table 4-1.
Schedule of Implementation Activities
 Implementation Activities
Customer Relations
Months Prior to or Following Program Implementation
 Public outreach
[Brief management and elected officials
 Conduct focus groups on rate program design
 and issues
 Develop information materials for council and press
 Hold council hearings and public hearings
 Public relations/education
 Issue RFP for public relations firm, if needed
 Design educational materials, bill stuffers
'< Review/refine educational materials
 Produce educational materials
 Distribute educational materials
 Customer service staff
'Request customer service representative (CSR)
 computers and workspace, if needed
 Advertise for CSRs
 Obtain and install CSR computer equipment
 Hire and train CSRs
 Release temporary CSRs
 iPlanning and Analysis
 iHire rates analyst (part- or full-time)
 Determine rate setting procedure and calculate rates
 Refine rate structure
                                                IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

  Table 4-1 (continued).
  Schedule of Implementation Activities
                                           Months Prior to or Following Program Implementation
  Implementation Activities
  Containers and Enforcement
  Bags, tags, or stickers
  Set specifications for sticker or bag and design logo
  Issue RFP for sticker or bag manufacture
  Select manufacturer
  Negotiate with retail outlets for sticker or
  bag distribution
  Finalize sticker or bag distribution plans
  Begin selling stickers or bags in stores
  Design error tags
  Issue RFP for can purchase and distribution
  Decide on can size and purchase containers
  Have residents select can size
  Distribute cans
  Replace lost, stolen, or wrong-sized cans
  Establish preliminary enforcement procedures
  Request equipment and facilities for inspectors
  Finalize enforcement procedures
  Train inspectors
  Release temporary inspectors
  Special Groups
  Negotiate with welfare agencies
  Develop exemption/discount criteria
  Determine responsible office
  Create procedures for qualification, disputes, etc.
  Finalize criteria and procedures
 Train inspectors or qualifiers
 Conduct qualifications

                                                                                          PART  IV
Table 4-1 (continued).
Schedule of Implementation Activities
 Implementation Activities
                                        Months Prior to or Following Program Implementation
 Multi-Family Planning
 Evaluate level of multi-family need
 Evaluate multi-family pilot options
 Conduct pilot program, if appropriate
 Changes to Other Programs
 Determine which complementary services to offer
 Decide funding source for new and existing
 complementary programs
 Modify unit pricing program to cover these costs,
j if necessary
 Modify diversion program contracts Land_,
 procedures as necessary,     .,  : ? .-:;,;
 Draft final ordinances for new program
 Draft ordinances, as necessary for illegal dumping
 and burning, recycling, and special collections
 Enact ordinances
 Data Collection
 Analyze information needs and design reporting
 Finalize procedures
 Conduct baseline data collection
 Begin postimplementation data collection
 Conduct data analysis and program modification
                                                IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

& answers
                           Is it really necessary to explain the new program repeatedly
                           through so many different avenues?
                           Not o/l citizens find garbage fascinating, nor will they immediately understand the
                           reasons for a new waste management program. Explaining a new program more
                           than once is not rude or insulting—it's a courtesy to people who would like to
                           participate but have other things on their minds. Also, because unit pricing
                           requires that residents pay attention to details such as labeling waste containers
                           with stickers or buying bags from the municipality, hearing the message several
                           times increases the chance that all residents will get the information they need.
                           Does unit pricing require us to completely reinvent our solid
                           waste agency?
                           It does require a significant review of your agency's goals and structure. But this
                           examination of new needs and existing employees could lead to the discovery of
                           some previously untapped skills in your agency.
                           Do I really need to follow this detailed timeline?  Half the items
                           in it are not likely to come up in our community.
                           Select what you need from the timeline. The timeline lists the many possible kinds
                           of new activities that a unit pricing program could require. It is designed to help
                           solid waste officials think about specific activities, thereby supplementing the
                           broad concepts that are stressed elsewhere in this guide.
Our municipality is on a tight budget. Do we really need to spend
money on data collection and monitoring?
While many of your unit pricing decisions face budgetary constraints, data
collection is essential for planning and for ensuring cost-effectiveness. The right
kind of information can show which types of unit pricing program and rate
modifications can best meet the community's needs over time.

                                                                            PART IV
Be sure your public education campaign uses a consistent, simple
message that clearly communicates the goals of the unit pricing
To ease the administrative transition, clearly define the
responsibilities of the office, the level of expertise that will be necessary,
and any new staff that need to be brought on.
Give funding priority to areas that hold the greatest risk of financial
problems or hold the greatest opportunity for savings through effective
management of limited administrative budgets.
Establish a flexible schedule for your unit pricing program that reflects
the political, technical, and economic concerns and issues in your
Be sure to evaluate your program's progress periodically, including
collecting and analyzing data on waste generation rates, costs and
revenues, and the attitude of residents toward the program.
To improve your data collection, make providing numbers part of the
contract (or franchise or license agreement) with your haulers. Ask for
monthly reporting, and provide forms and definitions to ensure you
receive the information you require.
                                  IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING

   Case    Studies
                              Public Education
                              A View From Austin, Texas

                              While Austin, Texas, is a very environmentally aware community, our
                              Environmental and Conservation Services staff realized that behavior does not
                              always correspond to stated attitudes. To give our new unit pricing program a
                              good chance of success, we realized a strong public outreach program was
                              needed. Since unit pricing terms such as "variable rates" and "volume-based
                              pricing" are not particularly user-friendly, our first challenge was to come up
                              with a name that would convey the nature of the new program to city council
                              members, customers, and our own solid waste service workers. The name we
                              came up with was "Pay-as-You-Throw," which has economic as well as
                              environmental  appeal.

                              Then, we initiated a pilot program beginning with a three-phase marketing plan to
                              reach out to the 3,000 participating single-family households. In the first phase, the
                              Preimplementation Phase, we worked very hard to sell the program in the
                              community. We lined up support from interest groups, asked city council members
                              to talk about the program, and encouraged the media to write positive editorials.

                              During the  second phase, the Implementation Phase, we had a more specific
                              challenge. We have had curbside recycling in Austin since 1982 and good
                              experiences with recycling behavior. With a well-established recycling program,
                              however, when we brought the program to the pilot households, people were
                              asking "Why do we need to do this when we're already recycling?" Our biggest
                              challenge was to inform people about the need to further reduce waste and
                              encourage them to use our  unit pricing program in conjunction with recycling.
                              After implementation, we learned  from both attitudinal surveys and from direct
                              observation of recycling bins that recycling had increased from 50 to 80 percent
                              in some neighborhoods when unit pricing was introduced.

                              The third phase of our public  outreach program  was the Maintenance Phase.
                              Once the program was in place, we realized it was important to continue trying
                              to raise awareness. It was during this phase that we  introduced what became our
                              single best educational tool—a brief, colorful  newsletter included with each
                              garbage bill. Called "Waste  Watch," the newsletter  contains features on  the
                              garbage collectors, dates of the brush/bulk pickup in each neighborhood,
                              discussions  about our unit pricing goals, and other features. We knew that only
                              15 to 25 percent of our customers read the usual utility inserts. However, after
                              we provided more sophisticated information  in an appealing format, our  survey
                              results showed a rise in readership.

                                                                                              PART  IV
Administration Staffing
A View From Dor/en, Illinois

Darien, Illinois, with a population of 21,000, moved (com a franchise flat-fee
system to a franchise sticker system in May 1990. Their administrative staffing
needs were unchanged: one person from the city oversees the activities of the
franchise hauler. City council members and existing staff put in overtime to
develop details of the new system and negotiate with the hauler during the
implementation process. The hauler has  reported some increased accounting
complexity but no increased staffing needs. Research indicates that this level of
small, temporary increases in administrative needs  during implementation of a
new or revised unit pricing program is typical of many smaller communities.
Administration Staffing
A View From Seattle,  Washington

The Seattle Solid Waste Utility, an enterprise fund, operates a variable can
subscription system with recycling fees and other charges embedded in the
collection rates. Billing is performed in cooperation with the Seattle Water
Department at a cost to the Seattle Solid Waste Utility of S1.9 million per year.

To manage this program, the utility employs two rate-setting staff, four finance
staff, and three accountants. Another $15,000 to $20,000 per year is spent on
consulting services, mostly to assist with setting rates. Additionally, Seattle's 22
full-time customer service representatives and 9 refuse inspectors help to meet
the service  and enforcement needs of the new program.
                                                 IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING UNIT PRICING          61

                                          APPENDIX  A
 EPA's UnH:  Pricing
 Roundtable Discussion:
 Questions & Alternatives
     his appendix presents a selection of proceedings from
     EPA's Unit Pricing Roundtable, held in December 1992.
     These proceedings include descriptions of different
     programs from around the country, experiences of solid
waste officials who have spearheaded unit pricing programs, and
ideas on managing program costs and challenges. The discussions
provided in this appendix are organized around a number of
specific questions and are divided into four general sections:
   • Getting started
   • Exploring program options, issues, and experiences
   • Integrating unit pricing and complementary programs
   • Accommodating groups with special needs
The first section explores issues involved in starting a unit pricing
program, such as education, communication, and changing the
status quo.  The second section compares the essential components
of a unit pricing program, including container choices, pricing
models, and billing systems. It then moves on to financial issues,
including cash flow and enterprise funds, and discusses enforcement
issues. The third sect/on focuses on integrating unit pricing and
complementary programs, such as yard trimmings and household
hazardous waste collection programs. The last section shares some
of the Roundtable proceedings on accommodating groups with
special needs, such as senior citizens, large families, and
low-income households.
                                              APPENDIX A         63

 Getting Started
                            Changing the Status Quo

 How do you convince citizens that unit  pricing is a good idea in the first place?  That has been
 a real obstacle.

              Seattle, WA:   I think getting some good public support by working on it early is very important.
                            Contact not only recycling groups but also community councils, people whom you
                            might not expect to be big advocates of a unit pricing program.

               State of fLt   The public opposition question comes up for communities that currently pay for their
                            garbage collection out of general taxes (e.g., property taxes). In a sense, that's a
                            hidden cost, and people perceive garbage collection as a free service. But if they
                            have a monthly bill (instead of paying through property taxes, for example), they
                            know that garbage collection costs something and there's "no free lunch." Then, in
                            moving to a unit pricing program, they can actually see that the cost of garbage
                            collection comes down. Whereas if the costs are hidden as property tax or general
       Unit Pricing Roundtable Participants

       The EPA-sponsored Unit Pricing Roundtable was moderated by Jan Canterbury of the EPA Office
       of Solid Waste and attended by over a dozen individuals who have been involved in successful unit
       pricing programs. The participants included:
          Nancy Lee Newell of the Qty of Durham, North Carolina

          Peggy Douglas of the City of Knoxville, Tennessee

          Barbara Cathey of the City of Pasadena, California

          Bill Dunn of the Minnesota Office of Waste Management
                         ..,> (, ....... . .-. . ....... .. -     , ..  . _
          Nick Pealy of the Seattle Solid  Waste Utility, Washington

         Jody Harris of the Maine Waste Management Agency
         Jamy Poth of the City of Austin, Texas

         Jeanne Becker of Becker Associates, Illinois

          Lisa Skumatz of Synergic Resources Corporation (SRC)
          Lon Hultgren of theTown of Mansfield, Connecticut

          Greg Harder of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources

         Thomas Kusterer of the Montgomery County Government, Maryland

          Robert Arner of the Northern Virginia Planning District Commission

                                                                                         APPENDIX A
                             revenue, then no matter how far waste collection costs drop, they see unit pricing as
                             an added cost.

             State ofMN:   What I have found in Minnesota, and it's true with a lot of waste issues, is that we
                             have the true believers and then we have the skeptics. The two groups are pretty
                             much cemented before the discussion even begins. So, how do you get them to move?
                             I'm not sure. But mandates at either the state, county, or city level can work.

                      SRC:   Maybe one of the ways to help get past public opposition  is to work with members of
                             citizen groups or "green groups" to start a groundswell of support for the program.
                             Have some success stories from other communities. This con help make it so that the
                             politicians supporting unit pricing are going with the tide rather than bucking the system.

                             Citizen Education

Did you use ad hoc citizen advisory groups, focus groups, surveys, and things of that  sort
before you got started?

                Austin, TX:   Yes, in fact, the way we introduced the program (this takes a lot of leg work but is
                             extremely important) is that we contacted neighborhood and civic associations, as
                             well as our recycling block leaders. Just coming up with the list of associations was a
                             task. We produced an eight-minute video on unit pricing and played the video at the
                             neighborhood meetings. We had real people talking about what was about to
                             happen. We got a lot of feedback by showing that tape. We carried out two focus
                             group surveys,  including one on larger families, an issue that many people want to
                             hear more about. We experimented with soliciting feedback that was recorded on a
                             telephone  voice mail system. This is effective because, believe it or not,  people are
                             not that hesitant to record their views. It is also cost-effective, since we use the
                             telephone  answering tree for our other programs as well. The voice mail is a
                             call-automated system,  so the caller presses "7" to find out when our brush pick up
                             date is or "2" to find out how to exchange carts. Many of the questions asked are
                             just that simple. As you review your communications and outreach system, it makes
                             sense to look into voice mail.

                             Costs  of  Public  Education

How much money was  budgeted  for unit  pricing education?  Also, in developing your  outreach
efforts in-house, how many staff members did you devote to education and  public relations?

                Austin, TX:   Our educational costs ranged from $6 to $8 per household per year in the early
                             years. Most of those costs were start-up costs. We saved a lot of money by doing all
                             of our work in-house—designing a user-friendly name and a regular way  of
                             communicating in our pilot program. However, this in-house approach meant that we
                             were constrained from using mass media such as TV and radio. We did not have the
                             capacity to develop a TV commercial that said, "Here is how you participate in the
                             new program." I really doubt that many communities phasing in their unit pricing
                             program will find a mass media program useful because unit pricing can require a
                             complex explanation. Instead, we use mass media only with our generic recycling and
                                                                              APPENDIX A             65

                               yard trimmings messages—simple messages such as "Either leave it on the lawn or compost
                               it." We had three full-time staff members for education. One person was assigned to
                               public relations, another was a graphic artist that participated in many things, and I
                               was the planner. Also, we utilized volunteers (such as recycling block leaders or
                               neighborhood association presidents) who provided the leg work in getting the word
                               out. You would be surprised how interested the- volunteers are in doing something. We
                               produced our video out-of-house because we didn't have the necessary cameras.

                Seattle, WA:   Seattle spends $3.25 per household per year on public education, but that is actually
                               high because a portion of that money goes to educating commercial and transfer
                               stations. So it's probably under $3. But if you  can piggyback some of these things,
                               you can reduce your costs even further. Postage is very expensive, so if you can tag
                               postage for the unit pricing message along with something else, it's even cheaper.
              Pasadena, CA:
I'd like to emphasize that it is absolutely key to put yourself on the firing line with the
customers. They pay the fees. When we went to the community we assured them,
"We're not taking anything away from you. We are giving you the opportunity to
have more control over your costs. You cut your trash down, you cut your trash bill
down." You need to listen, take the abuse, but then once the people actually
experience the program, they become converts, they don't want to go back. Either
you take the time up front to educate, or you take it later with operational difficulties
once the program is underway.
                               Getting Ready for Unit Pricing

 What about communities that don't have unit pricing now?
              Knoxv/i/e, TN:
My fear is that a lot of what's being discussed here may be difficult to apply to most
cities in the South, in Tennessee, for example, we did a needs assessment of all the
counties, and we found, first of all, that the waste composition was very different
from the rest of the country. Only about 25 percent to 35 percent of the total waste
stream was residential. Also, there is no city-wide curbside recycling,  very little yard
trimmings recycling, no household hazardous waste collection, and only one regional
materials recovery facility. In addition, our landfill tipping fees average only about
$25/ton even though we have adopted Subtitle D landfill regulations. Our land values
are just a whole lot less than other areas of the country, for now at least. I don't
think Tennessee is a lot different than most states in the South.
                        EPA:   I'm glad that you raised that because one of the goals of the guide is to provide
                               information for communities that may not yet be at the jumping off point for
                               implementing unit pricing. Any comments?
              Pasadena, CA:

              Knoxvif/e, TN:
What do you mean they are not ready? What's your objective?

Well, to answer the first part of your question, in our needs assessment study, we
found that a third of the counties in Tennessee didn't even have co//ection service,
period. So it's hard to talk about unit pricing or recycling. And one of the main
reasons why I wanted to go to unit pricing was to be able to finance some of the
extra municipal solid waste programs.  I can't do it right now, because every time I try

                                                                                      APPENDIX  A
           Mansfield, CT:
             Durham, NC:
to get city council to increase property taxes to pay for curbside recycling, I'm
competing against stormwater drain programs or something else.

You can start implementation with a drop-off center. Our community used the closure
of the town's landfill to start paying by the bag at the transfer station. Any major
facility or system change could act as a catalyst for a unit pricing system.

Well, some of the South is ready, and it's because we have a very progressive state
legislation package to push us. We have a 25 percent goal for July 1993, which not
many of us are going to reach. And a 40 percent goal by 2001.  We have to provide
some kind of recycling for our citizens. That's spurring a lot of interest in our state,
and a lot of people are looking at all  the complementary programs. We are trying to
give people as many options as possible (e.g., curbside recycling and garbage
collection once a week, yard trimmings collection, a yard trimmings  composting
facility, and a bulky item pick-up). Anything other than sending it to  a landfill. Our
landfill is going to close, and our county hasn't been able to site another, so  we're
going to be shipping our waste out of the county. So we have a real  big incentive to
make sure we dispose of as little as possible. When you do have a crisis situation,
and you have legislation that's pushing you in that direction on a state level,  it can
push you into the cutting edge of things, so it could be that you need to knock on
your state legislature's door.
Program  Options* Issues, and  Experiences
                            Voluntary Versus Mandatory Programs
What are some of the advantages of voluntary programs?
             Northern VA:
There are communities like Plantation, Florida, that have voluntary unit pricing.
Voluntary programs are more compatible with ideals of personal freedom, and the
enforcement costs may be lower. On the other hand, there may be less participation
in voluntary programs. A certain amount of good will is associated with mandatory
programs, since everyone has to participate. Mandatory programs also provide a
greater ability to cover fixed costs and less of an incentive for illegal dumping. If you
have to pay for at least some municipal solid waste service, then you may be less
inclined to dump your waste.
                            Time Factors

Does  it take less time for your crews to go down the street and get their work done with the
unit-based program?

               Austin, TX:  Yes. We went from manual collection to semiautomated and estimate that the
                            collection cost savings will be $5.11 per household per year. And we also went from
                            three collectors to two collectors. That might not sound like much on an individual
                            household basis, but certainly there is a cost savings. Then, we promote the
                                                                           APPENDIX A

                              educational message of "shore your boundary with your neighbor," so we can make
                              fewer stops in your neighborhood.

               Seattle, WA:  I think there are economies when you're collecting mm/cans as opposed to toters.
                              Toters take 20 to 45 seconds apiece, depending on what you've got. The minican
                              takes less time than that, so there ore definitely time savings. But, I think that bags
                              are considerably faster than  either toters or minicans.

                              Bag Programs

 What is the  largest city  with a bag program in Pennsylvania?

                State of PA:  Probably the largest city in Pennsylvania that has a bag system is Allentown, but it
                              has a limited per-bag system that is only used for grass clippings. Reading has a
                              population of 78,000, but it  has a voluntary system in which haulers are required to
                              offer a variable rate option. Wilkes-Barre has a population of around 48,500, but
                              its program applies only to residents of apartment buildings. The largest mandatory
                              per-bag system is probably Carlisle, which has a population of around 20,000.
                              Carlisle is followed by South White Hall Township, with a population of around
                              18,000. Most per-bag systems in Pennsylvania use standard size  30-gallon trash bags.
                              And usually they put a  weight limit of around 40 pounds on the bags so you can't fill
                              them up with bricks.


 How are stickers working out in your unit pricing program?

                State oflL    The advantage of stickers is that there is no billing at all. They're applicable to
                              various types of service, types of containers, and types of waste. With a simple,
                              uniform schedule,  stickers could be ordered through the mail. Or somebody could buy
                              50 stickers at a time from a hauler or from the local grocery store. The stickers are
                              easy to keep and they are not going to rot. Often times, the haulers can't read and
                              write, and so stickers are very simple. Since every second they spend at a stop is
                              money to them, the more data collection or enforcement that you require haulers per
                              stop, the less likely they are to do it. It's a time limit. But stickers are not perfect.
                              The adhesive can  be a problem. The hauler might not be able  to find them.
                              Stickers can be stolen  off of someone else's garbage bag. And maybe the biggest
                              problem is that people could buy a year's worth of bags in January, and then  not buy
                              anymore for the next several months. It is really hard to have to  predict people's
                              behavior in order to forecast revenue. The largest community in  Illinois that has  a
                              sticker program is the City of Aurora, which has 100,000 people.

               Durham, NC:  Stickers are interesting because you can take a  big bag that you  got at the store and
                              put your garbage  in it and put a sticker on  it. Then you are reusing that bag and not
                              generating another waste product.

                                                                                          APPENDIX A
                             Pricing Models

What unit  pricing models have you used?  And how are the variable costs of providing services
kept low?

                State of IL:  In Illinois, communities tend to charge what their neighbors do. The rates vary from
                             $1 to $2 a sticker. I really think they just try it and hope that the price is in the right

               State of PA:  Most Pennsylvania communities use a bag-based unit pricing system because they see
                             examples in nearby communities. Carlisle adopted one about three years ago, and
                             people in the neighboring township actually began clamoring for the same. In fact,
                             they actually sued the township to giVe them a bog-based system instead of a flat-
                             rate system. People like unit pricing because they see  it as being very fair and very

                      SRC:  A 30-percent impact on customer costs may be a threshold level at which people
                             begin responding to unit pricing. In contrast, I've seen some communities offer
                             90-gallon cans as the smallest size and then charge a  quarter or a dollar for each
                             additional 30 or 60 gallons. That may be unit pricing in one sense, but it certainly
                             doesn't provide much of an incentive for people to source reduce. You can also use a
                             fairly simple model and then consider some scenarios that give you an idea of what
                             your rates should be. You don't have to have a massive rates model; there are
                             communities working fine with microcomputer spreadsheets.
                              Subscription  Service Changes

How  do you handle it when peopie want to change  their service?
                Austin, TX:
             Pasadena, CA:
Do not underestimate how many people will select the smallest cart. Right off the
bat, we went $2,100 in the hole because of all the people who were going to do the
"right thing" and picked 30-gallon carts. In other words, be prepared for your
program to become successful.  Secondly, when it comes to cart exchanges, the
start-up costs for this program are really high. You really need to talk to your
politicians and everyone and get it all in a nice spreadsheet and realize that you're
going to bite the bullet for the first three to six months of the program. We offer a
free cart exchange the first time, and then $ 15 subsequently. But we were estimating
that a total of 15 percent ended up changing in Austin. Instead of doing any surveying
up front on the carts, we had to rely on the household size for estimates.

The thing that my staff keeps coming back to me about is the administrative cost  of
making changes. Our rule is, you can't  change service levels more often than every
six months. Only every six months, however, even with 27,000 customers, means that
there's somebody changing every single day. We don't charge for changing service
right now,  but I think that we must begin to charge for changes in order to create  a
disincentive. Soon, if you want to change, it's going to cost you $15 to $25 to make
that change.
                                                                               APPENDIX A


 What elements are needed in a successful billing system?

               Seattle, WA:  When you start unit pricing, determine if there are certain reports that you want to
                              be able to generate from the billing system and make sure you get that capability
                              integrated in your billing system right away. Later on, this type of modification can be
                              just horrible and extremely expensive.
             Mansfield, CT:
               Seattle, WA:
               State ofMN:
Mansfield originally had a private system, with the haulers doing the billing. When we
implemented our unit pricing program, the town took over billing. We find that one of
the side benefits is that we can lien property. The haulers have liked the system very
much because they know they ore going to get paid every month. And that might be
a way to sell it in a community that is also planning to take over the billing.

That's a double-edged sword for us. We do our combined billing with the city's water
department and drainage and waste water utility. We do have the lien authority and
essentially can turn off the water if somebody doesn't pay their bill. The problem is
that we have to deal with a lot of complaints from their customers, and it doesn't
always lead to the best results for us in terms of a quality billing system.

In some places in Minnesota, we are using a two-tiered (fixed plus variable fee)
system that is separate from the garbage collection billing system. The government
coHects some of the fixed costs to offset it.
                              Cash Flow

 How did  you project your cash flow over a certain period of time?

             Mansfield, CT:  We collect quarterly and in advance. That solves a lot of the cash flow problems.

               Seattle, WA:  If you're tight for cash, you need to know what's coming in and what's going out. It's
                              very important to  build in lags in your billing system.  There's going to be some lag
                              time in how people respond to unit pricing, and that  tends to work to your benefit.
                              You need to be conservative about the rate at which people reduce their solid waste,
                              particularly customers using the extra con, especially if you have high extra can rates.
                              And, don't underestimate the portion of the construction and demolition debris in Ihe
                              waste stream. Look really hard at wood waste. Wood waste typically comes to your
                              transfer stations in small loads. It can disappear real fast if you don't flow control it
                              or know what's going on with it.

                             Enterprise Funds

What are  the key advantages of enterprise funds?  Do they help you in  tracking costs of
services?  Do they make it easier  to raise rates than  taxes?

               Austin, TX:  It's never easy to raise rates, enterprise or not, but from a marketing point of view, if
                             we have a program that may be a little more sophisticated than what a council
                             member had thought about doing and if we can justify that we can pay for it,
                             certainly it's easier to get quality proposals for rate changes approved. I think that is
                             the key: it must be performance-based and used to justify budgets.

            Pasadena, CA:  It also can be used as a point of leverage, in the sense that we can say we are an
                             enterprise. We are a business and we have to charge full costs for our operations.
              Seattle, WA:
            Mansfield, CT:
I think it's easier to get analytical staff, because there is a perception that if you've
got big capital programs and big resource acquisition programs, then it tends to be
easier to support getting people like that. The same is true with computer systems, /t
tends to be easier to support those, which is real helpful.

Our municipal solid waste enterprise fund has grown, matured, and is now supporting
other activities, such as litter control. The downside to this is that policy makers may
look to healthy off-line funds for support in  the struggle to fund various other
community programs.
                              Municipal Versus Private Haulers

Does a municipal  program  have more  of a revenue-cost cushion than a private hauler?

            Mansfield, CT:   I wouldn't say more cushion, but definitely more control over costs. We took over a
                              private system and added recycling collection and still kept the rates the same. Our
                              unit pricing program provided more service for the same price as the "free market"
                              system. Mansfield contracts with two private haulers to implement its system.
            Pasadena, CA:
                State of IL:
You can't assume that there are a lot of cushions. In Pasadena, we operate like a
business and must be competitive. Now, if your municipality owns a landfill, you can
find a little subsidy. But, if you do full cost accounting, then you know your true cost
of operation. Then if you decide you need a cushion, that is part of the
decision-making process. Another thing is, don't underestimate the sophistication of
the private haulers. If you work very carefully with them, then you can learn a lot
together. For example,  I'm working with my commercial haulers very closely,
because we have commercial recycling requirements. We're planning to adopt unit
pricing in the commercial sector for the  same reason—to encourage waste reduction
and recycling. So commercial haulers need some help from us, but they also should
be part of the process of gathering and  sharing information.

One of the differences between municipal systems and private haulers is that with the
municipal system, you have a captive audience, and you can reach economies of
scale. This is especially important for some of the programs we've talked about, such
as Austin, Pasadena, and Seattle:  all are larger population bases where a hauler can
                                                                               APPENDIX A

                State of PA:
reach economies of scale. This is not the situation, however, in the Midwest. In
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, outside of the metropolitan areas, the problem is
that you have much smaller communities of several hundred or a few thousand
people. Second, many of these communities use multiple private haulers. The goal of
some communities is to keep every hauler in business, even if it's only one guy with one

A few months ago, I talked with a group representing waste haulers from
Pennsylvania. I wasn't sure what their attitudes would be toward unit pricing. It turns
out they actually like the idea, but their great fear was the uncertainty and risk from
having a straight price per bag (proportional) program. They were much more
favorable toward the idea of having a two-tiered system (i.e., fixed rate plus a per
bag fee) that would better allow them to recover their fixed costs.
                              Ways To Use Local Ordinances

 How can your local government, city council, or state legislature help?
             Pasadena, CA:
               Seattle, WA:
In order to protect business for waste haulers and recyclers, communities can pass
ordinances that require a franchise to do business. In this way, local governments can
help create a level playing field. We designed an ordinance that makes haulers buy
franchises from the city. We put as much flexibility into the ordinance as possible,
but, at the same time, established some sort of guidelines. This assures that everyone's
working under the same terms and conditions, whether it's one person, one truck
hauler, or a bigger hauling firm.

Another way to help smaller haulers is by stabilizing transfer  station rates and
disposal rates for reasonably long periods of time. This approach uses authority from
state and local  governments to insulate haulers from a lot of risk.
              State ofMN:   If your goal is to encourage source reduction, you might have to employ mandates.
                              This is especially important when budgets are tight, since both composting and
                              recycling cost real money. As an example, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, they enacted
                              ordinances that require food establishments to have food packaging that is either
                              returnable, reusable, or recyclable—that's really a cutting edge area. Also, don't
                              forget to amend your solid waste ordinance to allow for backyard composting and set
                              up some standards and advertise them to protect against rodents and odor.
                              Methods of Enforcement

 Are you finding that illegal dumping is a big issue?
             Pasadena, CA:
I think the key here is not to associate illegal diversion with variable rates. There is
always going to be some amount of illegal dumping, especially in hard economic
times. So you have a multitude of factors  that are contributing to what is generally
called illegal dumping. The key here is education and providing alternatives such as
legal diversions (for example, recycling and composting) and constructive source
reduction actions.

                                                                                          APPENDIX  A
              State of ME:
            Mansfield, CT:
              State of MN:
Enforcement efforts con be made more cost-effective through publicity. It only takes
one enforcement instance along with a lot of big publicity to send a loud message to
people who might be thinking about illegally dumping. In Maine we had a very large
investigation on private haulers who were hauling to other municipal landfills with
lower fees. The investigation was blown up in the press, with nightly TV coverage. It
stopped a lot of the illegal dumping in other communities.

We have a part-time garbage enforcement agent who works a couple days a week on
enforcement and public education.

In all fairness, I want to stress that it's not unit pricing per se that is driving illegal
dumping. It is also driven by growing restrictions on what you can put in the garbage
can. I believe restrictions may have more effect on i//ego/ dumping than unit pricing.
                             What People Really Do With Their Trash

People say, "My neighbor is the last one who goes to work, and he's going to put  his garbage in
my can."  I have also had professional people  say that they are planning to take their  trash to
work. So how do we address these concerns?
            Mansfield, CT:
               Austin, TX:
Again, / would like to underscore that in our experience, neighbors have not put their
garbage in the cans of other neighbors. We have had some calls—not many—from people
who swore that their neighbor had put additional recyc/ab/es in front of the caller's
bins. We investigated and found out it was the hauler who had put all the bins on one
side of the street so  that he could make one stop.

We did a study that measured what households would do with garbage that could
not fit in their subscription cans. Extra trash had to be labeled with stickers that
were purchased for $2 each. We received 554 responses to our survey and got the
following results:
•  32 percent used the stickers and paid for their excess trash disposal.

•  29 percent never  had excess garbage and never had to use stickers.

•  14 percent saved  their excess garbage until the next trash pickup.

•  11 percent stomped the extra garbage into their carts.

•  5 percent threw their extra garbage out at a neighbor's or friend's.

•  3 percent threw the extra garbage away at work.
We a/so found that most excess garbage came from households that subscribed to
larger, 90-gallon carts. We  knew that most 90-gallon carts were purchased by
households with five members or less, so we decided that excess garbage was not a
problem created by  large households that might not be able to reduce waste. Instead,
we think some families simply choose not to respond to unit pricing—some families
decide that they would rather pay more for larger carts and extra disposal than
recycle or reduce waste.
                                                                               APPENDIX A

 Integrating Unit Pricing With  Complementary
 MSW Programs
                            Yard Trimmings Programs

 What's the most effective complementary program that you've used with unit pricing and
 would recommend?

               State of/L:  Yard trimmings systems (pay-by-the-ba&) can easily be implemented as programs that
                            are complementary to unit pricing. If the household properly manages its yard
                            trimmings by composting or keeping grass clippings on its lawns (grasscycling), it can
                            avoid disposal costs without much effort. Second, a yard trimmings system costs
                            almost nothing for the community, except relatively low infrastructure costs. And a
                            yard trimmings system can reduce the total amount of residential waste by up to 30
                            percent, depending on where you live and how great a quantity of yard trimmings you
                            have initially. I would say that if you had only one program to go along with unit
                            pricing, it should focus on yard trimmings. Illinois instituted a ban on yard
                            trimmings. Everyone thought we'd need a lot of new compost sites and thousands of
                            bags to pick up yard trimmings. In fact, about 60 percent of all homes started
                            grasscycling. Overnight, households just stopped picking up grass clippings, and costs
                            for picking it up plummeted.
             Knoxvi/fe, TN:
In our little city, we generate 20,000 tons of large brush and limbs every year, but we
haven't budgeted for composting equipment. Any suggestions?
                State of/L-  Instead of buying chippers, you can stockpile the brush at the compost site. It doesn't
                            smell so you can store it for a long period of time. Also, you can rent a big chipper or
                            tub grinder several times a year and then use your mulch for landscaping.
            Pasadena, CA:
               State of PA:
                Austin, TX:
In Pasadena, 15 to 20 percent of the population has signed up for separate collection
of yard trimmings. They put out an average of 50 pounds per household per year. If I
could increase my participation in this program to 30 percent and everybody put out
50 pounds, then that's a big savings on landfill tipping fees. In addition, yard
trimmings are dense compared with plastic, which is light relative to its volume.  If
your ultimate goal is to keep tonnage out of the landfill, then, dollar for dollar, you
have a lot bigger bang for the buck with a yard trimmings program.

In Pennsylvania, many municipalities use their bag system to collect yard trimmings,
too. In Carlisle, residents put the leaves in plastic bags and the hauler dumps them
out  of the bags. Then the hauler actually puts the bags back on the curb so that
people can reuse the bags. And, in Allentown, they use paper bags that break down
in the composting process. Some communities use a vacuum system. It varies from
place to place, but plastic bags are pretty widely accepted in Pennsylvania.

Our yard trimmings do not get burned or go into a landfill. We mix them with our
sewage sludge and create a product called "Dillo Dirt" (short for Armadillo). We bag

                                                                                          APPENDIX  A
                             ft and sell it at nurseries or use it for our city parks. The Dillo Dirt program is very
                             popular. People like to know that their grass will be used to deflect program costs.
                             It's not a big money maker, but it does do a little better than break even.

              Seattle, WA:  I'm surprised that people are talking about leaving their yard trimmings on their
                             lawns, because in Seattle that's not a real common phenomenon. Households either
                             compost or use curbside collection. We distribute free compost bins, which could be
                             one reason; another could be differences in climate.
                              Recycling Programs
What about adding a recycling program?
             Pasadena, CA:
            Mansfield, CT:
              Seattle, WA:
                State of /L:
If you don't have curbside recycling in place, you might look at other alternatives. It is
extremely expensive to put in curbside recycling.

Well, we found a big increase in recycling participation when we went from drop-off
recycling to curbside pickup, so I don't think our unit pricing program would work as
well without curbside pickup of recyclables.

I think that on the issue of cost of services, you need to know, as best you can, what
services customers ore willing to pay for. Then, if you provide a broad enough range
of services at different prices and levels of convenience, you can best serve the
majority of people's needs.  / think people are willing to pay for convenience, and
don't underestimate that.

Also, Seattle has risk-sharing clauses built in to its recycling contract where the
haulers either receive  an extra payment or pay us a credit, depending on whether
the economy indices and market prices are good or bad. That actually increased our
financial exposure beyond what we like, but we felt that it was the appropriate thing
to do, given the state of markets right now.

For some very rural communities it is prohibitively expensive to do curbside collection
once a week. In central Illinois, communities have curbside collection of recyclables
once a month, and they found that it's actually working quite well. When they went
to unit pricing, they just offered  refuse bag collection once a week  and recyclables
collection once a month.
                              Household Hazardous Waste  Programs

Some communities already have household hazardous waste pickup or drop-off. How can these
programs work with a unit pricing program?
             Durham, NC:
You may be able to share expenses with other city agencies. In addition to our yard
trimmings, curbside recycling, and bulky item pickup programs, we have a household
hazardous waste program. The payment for this came from our wastewater
treatment department, not from our landfill tipping fee. The waste staff are just as
concerned about hazardous waste going into the wastewater system as we ore about
it going into the landfill. We may have to change that in the future and split it, rather
                                                                              APPENDIX A

                            than let them pay the whole bill. But it was a cushion for some time. We are also
                            working on a permanent collection system on a regional basis. We hope to get a
                            four-county region together and see if we can get a price break. We would set up
                            permanent sites and negotiate with a contractor, saying, "We're going to give you a
                            million people's worth of household hazardous waste. Can you give us a better price
                            than dealing with one county, or one city"? Then we can reduce our costs and
                            provide more frequent service to more people.
                            Keeping the Message Simple

 How do you avoid confusing your customers when you add a program to your unit pricing

               Austin, TX:   Through moss media we talk about complementary programs such as recycling and
                            our Dillo Dirt program. But for unit pricing, and specifically how to participate in
                            "Pay-As-You-Throw," we targeted our audiences more directly by using direct mail, a
                            newsletter, and doorhangers. In these, we explained how to set out your wheeled
                            cart, where it should face, and how to share with a neighbor (i.e., go ahead and pull
                            two carts together on a neighbor boundary at the yard so that it's fewer stops for the
                            collector). So, we steer topical information to specifically reach the affected
                            audience. We choose to use easy terms to promote the program. It's important to
                            keep messages simple and clear.
 Accommodating Groups  With Special Needs
                            Older Households

 How do you cater to the needs of senior citizens?

             Pasadena, CA:  Our older population began to have some concerns about their ability to actually
                            move their trash and pay for their trash. What we came up with seems to be working
                            well. We sent a note that said, "If you are over 62 years of age or if you are disabled,
                            call for special rates."  Almost 10 percent of our population has called and about 5
                            percent are on the special rates right now. The special rate for senior citizens is a
                            fO-percent discount. They con choose ony service option they wont, because we
                            found that their needs varied.

             Durham, NC:  What about the people who don't have driver's licenses, or are temporarily disabled;
                            they broke their leg and it will be six months before they are mobile again?  And,
                            also, do you go back and check to see if the older person has died or if a young
                            person is now living there and getting this service?

             Pasadena, CA:  First, if they don't have a driver's license, we ask for some kind of ID card or birth
                            certificate. People send all kinds of things; they're very good about wanting to show
                            you that they qualify. Secondly, our eligibility criteria say that if there is a younger
                            person in the home that can roll the trash for the disabled, then that household does

                                                                                         APPENDIX  A
                             not qualify. You have to be disabled, and you can't have a caregiver who is able to do
                             this. A lot is based on trust, although we do expect that we will do some followup,
                             depending upon how many people subscribe to the service. As far as people with
                             temporary needs, our basic message is if your need is less than six months, the
                             administrative costs of making that change are greater than the actual discount that
                             we could provide. But we do make exceptions on a one-to-one basis. Our customer
                             service reps do a tremendous amount of talking, asking a lot of questions and
                             dissuading people. The idea behind their asking questions is as much to help as to
                             provide disincentives to taking advantage of the system. So we try to do it in a very
                             courteous, polite way. After a while, most people get tired of answering the
                             questions, but if they can answer all the questions then we do try to help them.

How large is your customer service department?

            Pasadena, CA:   For 27,000 residences, we have three people. One person answers the phones out
                             front and dispatches on the radio for very basic questions. For more detailed
                             questions, I have two more individuals who can respond. But, if the question is very
                             difficult, it goes up to another level.

                             Low-Income  Households

How do folks handle  the low-income issue?

              Seattle,  WA:   We don't have any family rates, but we do have a low-income rate. This summer we
                             qualified low-income, elderly, and handicapped customers for rate assistance. We
                             include all households who are under the federal poverty line.

            Pasadena, CA:   I would concur that if you're looking for standards, try to find something that is an
                             established standard—not something that you create for your city. That's where we
                             had problems because Pasadena is a more expensive place to live than other places
                             in the nation.  It's difficult to defend a  low-income standard if it's not already

                             Large Households

Could  you address the perception that a unit pricing program  bashes the family?

                      SRC:   That is a very common question at conferences. I guess to me, that's an education
                             issue. People who have larger homes pay more for electricity. People who have more
                             people in the  house pay more for water and more at the grocery store. The question
                             is not so much aren't we going to be hurting these families but rather should small
                             families continue to subsidize these large families? I think that you need to turn the
                             question around.
                                                                              APPENDIX A             77

                              Inner Cities
 What about our inner cities?

               Seattle, WA:
             Mansfield, CT;
             Pasadena, CA:
               Seattle, WA:
Monthly reports in Seattle show that illegal dumping is more concentrated in certain
areas than others, and it tends to be in lower income areas of the city.

Our toughest enforcement problems are in multi-family housing because of the
transient population and difficulty in communicating with individual tenants, as
opposed to single-family residents.

Pay special attention to any area of more transitory populations. They are going to
have special needs and special demands. We may need more frequent neighborhood
cleanups there.

Also, it is effective to use community groups, and to provide grants to community
councils. Often, they can do it for less money, and there is a lot of community pride
in dealing with the problem. City government is not great at doing it, but community
groups can do it.
                              Multi-Family Units

 What has been your experience with applying unit pricing to multi-family  housing?

               Seattle, WA:  We've had a broad range of problems providing unit pricing to residents of
                              multi-family housing. These include contract relations, design, enforcement, and
                              deciding whether the city or haulers will serve these units. Also, if you're going to do
                              unit pricing in a big city with lots of multi-family housing, you have to have a reliable
                              billing system that the customer service reps can use. We've got 9 inspectors and 22
                              customer service representatives, so we've got a big staff. But we have 300,000
                              collections a week, so even 1  percent of that turning up as phone calls can be a
                              problem. We get about 650 calls a  day from customers, and we can deal with that.
             Pasadena, CA:
I have a problem with landlords who call me when their units are empty. They say,
"I'm not using the unit because I'm remodeling it right now, so I shouldn't have to
pay for trash." But I still have to have the same operation; I still have to pass by the
unit. So, when you set up a unit pricing program, be sure to educate your landlords
about this.

 Putting the  Blocks  Together:

Additional   Examples

    n Part /// of this guide, a six-step process for assembling a unit
    pricing program entitled "Putting the Blocks Together" was
    introduced. The six steps demonstrated how to combine
    projections of cost, demand, and service levels in order to
arrive at a tentative rate structure for a unit pricing program. The six
steps provided a general introduction to the process of designing a
rate structure but did not demonstrate how to accommodate the
specific needs of your community when designing a unit pricing
This appendix consists of three examples to assist decision-makers in
tailoring their programs to the specific waste management goals and
needs of their communities. Each of the three examples outlines a
community goal and the modifications to the design and assembly
process considered necessary to meet that goal. The three examples

   • A community that wants to keep revenues higher than costs as
    it moves from a traditional waste collection program  to a unit
    pricing program (the transition period).

   • A community that wants to provide complementary solid waste
    services such as a recycling collection program.

   • A community that decides to accommodate citizens with
    special needs within its unit pricing program.
                                                 APPENDIX B          79

                             Designing a rate structure that meets the particular goals and
                          concerns of your community is important. Use the three examples to get
                          a sense of how to customize the six-step process to better meet the
                          demands of your community.

                            • Step 1: Demand. Estimate total amount of waste generated in
                              the "steady-state."
                            • Step 2: Services. Determine the components of your unit pricing
                            • Step 3: Costs. Estimate the costs of your unit pricing program.
                            • Step 4: Rates. Develop a tentative unit pricing rate structure.
                            • Step 5: Revenues. Calculate the revenues from unit pricing.
                            • Step 6: Balance. Evaluate and adjust your preliminary unit
                              pricing program.
 Focusing on the  Transition  Period
                             During the transition from a traditional waste management program to
                          a unit pricing program, households gradually adjust their habits to the
                          new opportunities and costs introduced by unit pricing. The demand for
                          services from local municipal solid waste agencies might settle to new,
                          lower levels during this time. The result can sometimes be a drop in
                          revenues for the local agency. Many communities introducing unit
                          pricing need to know that revenue shortfalls, however, will not be
                          excessive during the transition period, nor in the subsequent steady-state.

                             If a community requires the revenue from its unit pricing rates to
                          cover costs during both the transition period and the steady-state period,
                          it needs to focus on Steps 1 and 3 of "Putting the Blocks Together."
                          During Step 1, the community needs to produce a detailed and accurate
                          estimate of the degree to which households will reduce solid waste
                          generation to better anticipate changes in revenues  that will result from
                          the unit pricing program. To acquire reliable estimates for this step, the
                          community can draw on the experience  of other communities that have
                          introduced similar complementary programs, public education efforts,
                          container options, and special services.

                             A detailed estimate from.Step 1 will also help the community
                          accurately anticipate the rate at which costs will settle downward. In
                          Step 3, the community needs to look at how a reduction in waste volume
                          will lower costs, such as transportation  and tipping fees. Unit pricing
                          planners then need to test tentative rate structures to find the correct
                          balance between decreasing revenues and decreasing costs and to keep
                          the local solid waste agency's revenues in line with costs during each
                          quarter of the transition period, as well  as the subsequent steady-state.


                             Adding  Complementary Services
    Communities that have a clear mandate for waste management can
 sometimes pursue a program that combines source reduction and
 recycling. For example, the citizens of a community might demand a
 combined program of unit pricing and curbside pickup of recyclables. To
 develop a rate structure that would accommodate a complementary
 curbside recycling program, the community would need to accurately
 identify all of its waste management costs and carefully weigh all of its
 revenue-raising options to determine if such a program was feasible.

    In Step 3 of "Putting the Blocks Together," the community can explore
 the potential  for combining equipment, crews, billing, and  routes for
 both trash collection and recycling pickup. Careful scheduling or
 innovative use of equipment could significantly reduce costs. The
 community should also use this step to examine the financial trade-offs
 of the two programs; for example, a recycling pickup program could
 lower the total amount of waste being landfilled or combusted, reducing
 the community's tipping fees to help cover the costs of providing
 recycling collection.

    In Step 4, the community is presented with-a variety of pricing
 options.  These should be examined in light of your overall  goals for unit
 pricing. For example, if one of your primary goals is to significantly reduce
 household waste generation, you can consider charging for all collection
 services. Setting substantial per-bag charges for both trash and recyclables
 will encourage households to reduce waste. If, however, recycling is
 provided for free, citizens would have less incentive to reduce the
 amounts of recyclables it generates and the municipal solid waste  stream
 (trash plus recyclables) could actually rise in volume, driving collection
 costs up. Another pricing option consists of setting the per-bag charge for
 trash higher than the per-bag charge for recyclables. This rate structure
 encourages households to separate recyclables from other trash,  thereby
 reducing the portion of their household waste that the community sends
 to the landfill.

   These examples show how important it is to treat unit pricing rates as
 part of a comprehensive pricing system that takes into account all  solid
 waste services. Charging citizens for both recycling and waste removal
 adds complexity and cost to providing municipal solid waste services.
 The alternative, however, a unit pricing rate structure that does not
integrate waste collection charges with those for curbside recycling, can
prove expensive, inequitable, and ineffective at achieving the
community's goals.
                                                                     APPENDIX B           81

 Addressing Special  Needs
                             A community that wishes to assist low-income households that might
                          have trouble paying for unit pricing needs to make several adjustments to
                          the basic model to develop a rate structure that meets its goals.

                             In Step 1, the community must first determine how to qualify
                          households for lower collection charges. To make this decision, the
                          community should collect information on the number of low-income
                          households that could qualify for lower charges.  The community can use
                          these numbers to adjust revenue estimates and finally arrive at a rate
                          structure that provides sufficient revenue. Rates  should be set to provide
                          an incentive for source reduction in both low- and high-income
                          households. However, the community might anticipate that lower rates
                          for low-income households will provide less incentive to use source
                          reduction. If this is the case, estimates of the drop in demand for waste
                          collection services should be revised to meet the effect of the low-income

                             In Step 3, the community needs to examine the potentially greater
                          costs of introducing a low-income rate. Such a rate not only will decrease
                          anticipated revenues but also require additional administrative costs to
                          identify and separately bill low-income households. Administrative costs
                          can be kept down if an established income cutoff is used or other local
                          agencies have already identified the low-income  households in the
                          community. Rent assistance or income assistance programs might have
                          already identified the low-income households in a community.

                                                      APPENDIX   C
Bulky waste items - Large items of refuse including, but not limited to, appliances, furniture,
large auto parts, nonhazardous construction and demolition materials, and trees that cannot be
handled by normal solid waste processing, collection, and disposal methods.

Commercial sector - Includes schools, hospitals, retail establishments, hotels, and
Compost - Discarded organic material that has been processed into a soil-like material used as
a soil amendment or mulch.
Construction and demolition (C&D) debris - Includes concrete, asphalt, tree stumps and
other wood wastes, metal, and bricks. (C&D debris is excluded from the definition of municipal
solid waste used by EPA and the National Recycling Coalition.)

Disposal - Landfilling or combusting waste instead of recycling or composting it.

Diversion rate - A measure of the amount of waste material being diverted for
recycling/composting compared with the total amount that was previously thrown away.

Enterprise fund - An independent budget dedicated for a special purpose or activity, such as
a local municipal solid waste program. The local agency becomes reliant on the revenue it raises
through unit pricing or tipping fees and does not receive financial support from the general fund
of the local government.
Flow control - A legal or economic means by which waste is directed to particular
destinations (for example, an ordinance requiring that certain wastes be sent to a particular
landfill facility).
Full cost accounting - The total accounting of all costs and revenues involved in municipal
solid waste management, allowing for a standard treatment of the capital costs, future
obligations, and indirect costs.
Household hazardous waste - Products containing hazardous substances that are used and
disposed of by individuals, not industrial consumers. These products include, but are not limited
to, certain kinds of paints, solvents, batteries, and pesticides.
Integrated waste management - The complementary use of a variety of practices to
handle municipal solid waste safely and effectively. Integrated waste management techniques
include source reduction, recycling (including composting), combustion, and landfilling.
                                                            APPENDIX c            83

               Landfilling - The disposal of solid waste at engineered facilities in a series of compacted layers
               on land that is covered with soil daily. Fill areas are carefully prepared to prevent nuisances or
               public health hazards, and clay and/or synthetic liners are used to prevent releases to ground
               Municipal solid waste (MSW) - Waste generated in households, commercial establishments,
               institutions, and businesses. MSW includes used paper, discarded cans and bottles, food scraps,
               yard trimmings, and other items.  Industrial process wastes, agricultural wastes, mining wastes,
               and sewage sludge are not  MSW.
               Participation rate - The portion of households that take part in a given program. Often
               refers to households actively participating in a curbside collection program for recyclable
               Recyclables - Products or materials that can be collected, separated, and processed to be used
               as raw materials in the manufacture of new products. The recyclable option should be available
               to the majority of residents through curbside recycling programs or fixed recycling centers.
               Recycled content - The  portion of a package's weight (excluding coatings, ink, labels,
               stickers, adhesives, or closures) that is composed of postconsumer recycled material.
               Residential waste - Waste from single-family and multi-family residences and their yards.

               Source reduction (Waste prevention) - The design, manufacture, purchase, or use of
               materials to reduce the amount and/or toxicity of waste. Source reduction techniques include
               reusing items, minimizing the use of products that contain hazardous compounds, using only
               what is needed, extending the useful life of a product, and reducing unneeded packaging.

               Tipping fees - The fees, usually dollars per ton, charged to haulers for delivering materials
               at recovery or disposal facilities.

               Waste generated - Sum of waste recovered and waste disposed of.

               Waste stream - A term describing the total flow of solid waste from homes, businesses,
               institutions, and manufacturing plants that must be recycled, burned, or disposed of in landfills;
               or any segment thereof, such as the "residential or recyclable" waste stream.

               Yard trimmings - The component of solid waste composed of grass clippings, leaves,
               twigs, branches, and garden refuse.

Blume, D. R. 1992.  Under what conditions should cities adopt volume-based pricing for
residential waste collection. Washington, DC: U.S. EPA Office of Management and Budget.

California Integrated Waste Management Board. 1991. Disposal cost fee study: final report.
Boston, MA: Tellus Institute.

Goddard, H. C. 1990. Integrating solid waste management: incentives for reduced waste,
increased recycling, and extension of landfill life. Proceedings from the First U.S. Conference
of MSW Management: Solutions for the '90s. Washington, DC.
Howard, S. 1988. Financing integrated solid waste management systems. Paper presented at
the  Seventh Annual Resource Recovery Conference. Washington, DC: Shearson Lehman
Mutton, Inc.

Hsieh, H-N. (No date.) Cost analysis of landfill and its alternatives. Unpublished paper.
Newark, NJ: New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Jacalone, D. P. 1992. Per unit pricing: an overview of operational issues. Paper presented at
EPA's Second U.S. Conference on MSW Management: Moving Ahead. Washington, DC.
League of California Cities. 1992. Financing strategies for integrated waste management
programs:  answers for communities. Sacramento, CA: League of California Cities.
Repetto, R., et al. 1992. Green fees: how a tax shift can work for the environment and the
economy. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency. 1989. Discussion and summary of economic
incentives to promote recycling and source reduction. Washington, DC: U.S. EPA  Office of
Policy Analysis.
U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency. 1990. Charging households for waste collection and
disposal: the effects of weight or volume-based pricing on solid waste management.  NTIS
PB91-111484. Washington, DC: U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency. (No date.) Methods of predicting solid waste
characteristics. Stock no. 5502-0048. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1990. Variable rates in solid waste: handbook for solid
waste officials, Volume 1: Executive summary. EPA530-SW-90-084A. Washington, DC: U.S. EPA
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
                                                            APPENDIX D            85



Public Outreach

      Articles &

          United States        Office of Solid Waste and    EPA530-R-96-005
          Environmental Protection    Emergency Response      September 1996
          Agency           Washington, DC 20460
&EPA   Pay-As-You-Throw Workbook
          A Supplement to
          Pay-As-You-Throw Guidebook
                                   Pnnted on paper that contains at least
                                   20 percent postconsumer fiber.

          EPA wishes to thank the Coalition of Northeastern Governors
          (CONEG) for its assistance in the development of this workbook
          and, in particular, for its contribution to the design and development
          of the worksheets.

Table  of Contents

About This Workbook	v
Section Oner-Presentation Materials	I
    Presentation Agenda	3
    Survey of Attendees	7
    Evaluation Form 	11
    Sample Script and Overhead Masters  	15
Section Two: Public Outreach Materials	91
    Pay-As-You-Throw Fact Sheets	93
    Other Outreach Strategies  	105
    Clip Art	111
Section Three: Worksheets	121
Section Four: Articles and Newsclippings	145
Section Five: Annotated Bibliography	173

About  This  Workbook
     oday, with waste amounts and disposal costs for many commu-
     nities rising, municipal solid waste (MSW) planners increasingly
     need to find ways to boost waste prevention and recycling
     among residents. Pay-as-you-throw programs, when properly
designed and implemented, can help you meet this challenge. To pro-
vide a source of information about how these programs work, EPA
developed a guide called Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit
Pricing. The guide introduces pay-as-you-throw, discusses its benefits
and potential barriers, and offers guidance on how to consider,
design, and implement a pay-as-you-throw program.
This supplement to the guide is designed as a user-friendly, hands-on
workbook. It is divided into five sections containing tools to help
you plan out your program in detail, convey the results of your
research in convincing presentations, and develop a strong outreach
program that will help you earn the support of community stake-
holders. This workbook also contains reprinted articles and refer-
ence materials that you can use to learn more about these
programs. Each of the tools in this workbook are designed to be
adapted as needed. To get started, review the table of contents or
read the five section introductions to find the specific materials you
need to make pay-as-you-throw successful in your community.

Presentation   Materials
     he first step in any pay-as-you-throw program is to review the
     benefits and potential barriers of pay-as-you-throw and learn
     how these systems work. MSW planners who have per-
     formed this step and decided that such a program can work
in their community will then need to earn the support of key com-
munity stakeholders. In most communities, stakeholders include
elected officials, municipal staff, residents, local civic groups, and, in
some cases, private haulers. A pay-as-you-throw presentation at a
meeting of municipal officials, a town meeting, or a citizens' adviso-
ry council meeting can be an effective first step.
Prior to your presentation, it is important to thoroughly research
pay-as-you-throw and its potential advantages for your community.
(Refer to the guide Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pric-
ing, which can be found in the  "Guidebooks" section of this Tool
Kit, for more information about pay-as-you-throw. The worksheets
in Section Three of this workbook also can help with this process.)
Once you have gathered data in support of the program, you can
use the following sample materials to help you organize an effective
pay-as-you-throw presentation:
•  A presentation agenda and photocopy master to help you plan
   out your meeting.
•  A survey of attendees that you can use before your briefing to
   better understand your audience and its  level of awareness of
•  An evaluation form to help you  gauge how successful your pre-
   sentation was and decide whether further work will be needed
   to convince your audience about the program.

n   A sample script for your presentation and overhead masters
    that can be photocopied onto transparencies and used to help
    you present the key points concerning pay-as-you-throw.
In addition, be sure to consider whether materials found in the
other sections of this Tool Kit, including the pay-as-you-throw soft-
ware, videotape, or guidebooks, might also help you strengthen
your presentation.

Presentation  Agenda
A           presentation agenda will help you provide your audience
           with an overview of the topics you plan to cover in your
           talk. It will also demonstrate that
     you have carefully planned your briefing.
     In addition, preparing an agenda in
     advance can be an important exercise,
     helping you clearly identify key areas of
     your briefing and the approximate
     amount of time you should spend on
     each. You might want to provide
     your attendees with the agenda
     ahead of time, perhaps as part of
     an invitation to the presentation.
     In general, your briefing might
     include an overview of the
     pay-as-you-throw program,
     followed by your analysis of
     how it can help your com-
     munity. You  can refer to
     the materials in this sec-
     tion (including the Sam-
     ple Script and Overhead
     Masters, beginning on page
     *\5) for more ideas on what to include in
     the presentation. Begin by reviewing the sample agen-
     da on this page. If you want to structure your briefing around these
     topics, you can use the blank agenda template found on the
     next page.

Or, if you prefer, you can create you own agenda that focuses on
the specific topics or issues that you think would be of greatest
interest to your audience.

Pay-As-You-Th row
Presentation  Agenda
         Welcome and Introductions
         Overhead Presentation
         • Introduction to pay-as-you-throw:
           will it work in our community?
         • Planning for pay-as-you-throw and
           educating residents
         • Designing a successful program
         • Implementing and monitoring
         Questions and Answers
         Pay-As-You-Throw Worksheet
         • Goals
         • Barriers
         • Public outreach
         • Container and pricing options
         Next Steps

Survey of Attendees
          Your presentation will be more effective if you can address
          the specific issues about pay-as-you-throw that are of partic-
          ular interest or concern to your audience. If you know who
     is likely to come to your presentation, you can prepare and send
     out a survey ahead of time to identify their
     primary concerns and
     what it is they would
     like to learn about         f*j
     your proposed
     This section includes a
     sample survey form that
     you can reproduce and
     send out to your atten-
     dees. Or you can adapt this
     master copy by developing
     your own questions,  placing
     them onto the page below
     the title, and reproducing
     that, instead. Once you have
     the survey ready, distribute it
     to your attendees and review
     the results carefully. If needed,
     you can adapt your agenda and
     the content of your presentation
     to address directly any trends or
     issues you noted in the survey results.

Survey  of
Thanks for accepting the invitation to attend the upcoming presentation on our
proposed pay-as-you-throw program. To help focus the presentation on the most
important issues, please take a few minutes to respond to the following ques-
tions. Please return this form to the presentation organizers when you are done.

Your name:	
How familiar are you with pay-as-you-throw?

      D Very familiar

      D Somewhat familiar with the concept and how pay-as-you-throw

      D Have read about/been exposed to a small amount of pay-as-you-
        throw information

      D Unfamiliar with pay-as-you-throw

What do you think are the most important advantages of a pay-as-
you-throw program for our community? (Rank the following on a
scale of I to 3, with 3 indicating the most important advantages.)

	  Reduced waste generation amounts

	  Reduced waste collection and disposal costs

	  Greater recycling rates
         Greater equity for residents (residents pay only for the waste they

         Increased environmental awareness among residents


Survey of Attendees
Page 2
               What do you think are the most significant perceived barriers to a
               pay-as-you-throw program in our community? (Rank the following
               on a scale of I to 3, with 3 indicating the most significant perceived

               	   Enforcement issues (illegal dumping, burning of waste)

               	   Potential for uneven cash flow

               	   Perception of increased costs to residents

               	   Implementation in multi-family housing

               	   High administrative costs

               	   Extending pay-as-you-throw to residents with special needs

               	   Building public consensus

               What specific pay-as-you-throw topics or questions do you want to
               see raised at the presentation?

Evaluation   Form
             Once your presentation is complete, it may be useful to per-
             form a follow-up survey to generate feedback about the
             briefing and the issues that were discussed. While reac-
     tions and questions at the presentation
     itself will provide a good sense of the
     impact of your briefing, an evaluation
     form will allow you to gauge in greater
     detail the attitudes and responses of
     your audience toward pay-as-you-
     throw. The results will help you deter-
     mine whether follow-up sessions will
     be needed and which particular
     aspects of pay-as-you-throw were
     well received—and which may
     require additional explanation.
     Review the sample evaluation
     form in this section. Prior to your
     presentation, you can reproduce
     this form. If you prefer, you can
     adapt this master copy by
     developing your own evalua-
     tion questions, placing them
     onto the page below the title,
     and reproducing that, instead. Then,
     immediately after your briefing, distribute the form to your
     attendees and ask them to complete it before they leave. Review
     the attendees' evaluations carefully and begin planning how to incor-
     porate what you learned into future outreach efforts.
          , P^-as-yo "V'P™'S
          do"t. »(.-  ""»*


Thank you for coming to this pay-as-you-throw presentation. We appreciate
your attendance and participation, and would like your feedback. Please
take a minute to complete the following evaluation, identifying the presenta-
tion's strong points as well as the points that warrant more attention. This
information will help us improve future presentations. It also will help us
learn if we need to provide more information about pay-as-you-throw or
answer any additional questions. When you are done, please return this
form to the presentation organizers.

Please rate your response to the following questions on a scale of 1 to 5.

1: Poor     2: Fair      3: Good     4: Very good    5: Excellent

I. Overall, how would you rate the quality of the presentation?
2.  How would you rate the presentation format?
                                 1     2
3.  How would you rate the presentation style of the speaker(s)?

Evaluation Form
        4. How would you rate the handouts/presentation materials?
       5. Did the presentation meet your goals and expectations?

       6. How well were your concerns or questions about
          pay-as-you-throw addressed?

                                           1      2     3
       7. What other topics or areas of discussion would you like
          to see addressed?
       8. Please list any other questions or comments about
          pay-as-you-throw or the presentation.

Sample  Script and
Overhead  Masters

            Overheads can be very helpful in
            conveying information about
            pay-as-you-throw to your pre-
     sentation audience. This workbook
     includes a complete set of overheads
     designed to address the main topic areas
     related to pay-as-you-throw: what a pay-as-
     you-throw program is, what the results have
     been in communities with pay-as-you-throw,
     how these programs work, and how to
     design and implement one in your own com-
     munity. On the following pages you will
     find a sample script for your overhead
     presentation, intended to provide a
     starting point for your discussion of the
     different pay-as-you-throw topics. The
     sample script is followed by a set of
     master overheads that can be used to
     create your overhead transparencies.
     The overhead presentation is
     designed to be flexible. You may
     decide to revise the order of the
     overheads based on the issues
     you feel merit particular atten-
     tion. You also can remove any
     overheads or include your own transparencies to
     provide additional  information, if needed. In addition, you can adapt

                  the suggested script or even prepare your own to further tailor the briefing to
                  your audience.
                  To prepare transparencies from the overhead masters, simply copy each of the
                  master overhead pages onto blank transparencies (available at office or stationary
                  supply retailers) using an ordinary photocopier. The transparencies will then be
                  ready to use.

        "Pay-As- You-Throw"

        Unit Pricing of
        Municipal Solid Waste
Pay-as-you-throw programs are incentive-based strategies for reducing
the amount of MSW community residents generate.

This briefing will include an introduction to pay-as-you-throw and a
discussion of how it can help our community better manage MSW.

We also will talk about how to design and implement a program that will
succeed in our community. Many of these strategies have been learned
from communities that have implemented programs of their own.

             MSW Hierarchy Pyramid
                               and Recycling
                         Landfilling and Combustion
   Maintaining control over solid waste in the long term depends on
   emphasizing waste reduction.

   Landfilling and combustion, while necessary, are the least desirable
   management methods. They occupy the bottom of the hierarchy.

   Recycling, which reduces the amount of waste we have to dispose of,
   is preferable.

   Waste prevention, which prevents materials from becoming waste in
   the first place, is at the top of the hierarchy.

         Potential Benefits
         • Encourages the Three Rs:


Pay-as-you-throw directly supports waste prevention and recycling.
Because residents pay for whatever they throw out, they tend to work
harder to reduce, reuse, and recycle.


    Because of this "pocketbook" motivation, it is likely that pay-as-you-
    throw will result in less total waste our community has to dispose of.
    Increased recycling rates will be a major factor in this.

    In addition, when markets for collected materials are strong, greater
    recycling rates offer the potential for increased revenues from the sale
    of these materials.

           Potential  Benefits
             Encourages the Three Es:

              • Environment

              • Economics

              • Equity
The increased reducing, reusing, and recycling leads to further benefits,
called the Three Es.

Environment: Less waste means less landfill space is needed. In addition,
reduced need for manufacturing goods can result in less pollution.

Economics: For the municipality, less waste means lower collection and
disposal costs. For residents, they control their costs.  If they throw away
less, they will pay less.

Equity:  Waste management costs money, but now the costs are spread
more fairly. Those residents that generate large amounts of waste will
have to take financial responsibility for it.

           Waste Reduction Results

            • Perkasie, PA
            • MN Town I
            • MNTown2
            • Duke University
              Study of 14 cities              44%

            6 MA Cities
            m Before Unit  Pricing            1.5 - 4.5 ppd
            • After Unit Pricing             0.89 • 1.09 ppd

            • Cornell University,            76% of residents
              Tompkins County, NY         reduced waste
   What does the evidence show? In virtually every case, communities
   with pay-as-you-throw report that waste generation declined. Here are
   some examples.

   The average waste reduction reported by pay-as-you-throw
   communities is between 25 and 45 percent. (Results may vary,
   depending on  such factors as current waste collection systems and
   options chosen for pay-as-you-throw.)

Different Unit Pricing
Plantation, FL
Perkasie, PA
High Bridge, NY
Illion, NY
Pasadena, CA
Loveland, CO
Austin, TX
Type of
Population Program
64,000 Bags
7,900 Bags
4,000 Stickers
9,500 Bags
119,374 Can
31,000 Stamp
450,000 Can
Dupage County, IL 668,000 Bags
* Data not avalilable

Change in

in recycling
+ 18%

Those communities with existing recycling programs also show
significant increases in the amount recycled.

Studies also show that waste prevention and recycling amounts
increased  in all the reporting communities, regardless of size or
geographic location.

            Deciding Whether to Use
              Will the program meet our
              MSW goals?
              Will residents support the
              Will costs and revenues
   Ultimately our community has to decide about pay-as-you-throw based
   on three issues:

   Will it meet our MSW goals? We need to compare the potential
   advantages of pay-as-you-throw to our MSW goals and make a
   judgment about whether the program will bring us closer to meeting
   these goals.

   Will residents support it? They most likely will, if the program is well-
   designed and we reach out to educate them about pay-as-you-throw.

   Will costs  and revenues  balance? The only way to determine this is to
   perform some detailed rate  design work and evaluate the results.

      Pay-As-You-Throw Goals
         Raise sufficient revenues
         Encourage MSW reduction through
         price signals
         Convey a better understanding of social costs
         to citizens
         Charge for recycling and other
         complementary programs
         Allow for the needs of special groups
         Keep the program simple to use and run
Pay-as-you-throw programs can help a community meet a number of
important goals. These are just a few examples.

Our goals include:

[L»st your community's MSW goals; discuss how well pay-as-you-throw will
meet them]

             Education and Outreach
               Need the support of residents!
               Build consensus with an outreach
               Citizens' advisory council
               can help:
               • Set goals
               • Build consensus
   If we decide to go with pay-as-you-throw, we must earn the support of
   residents. A key lesson from communities with pay-as-you-throw is that
   such programs will not succeed without residents' approval.

   To achieve this, the first step will be to initiate an outreach campaign.
   One goal of the campaign is to inform residents about why the new
   program is  needed.

   A second goal of the campaign is to involve residents in the actual
   planning for the program. Setting up a citizens' advisory council that
   includes civic leaders and other residents can help accomplish this.

The citizens' advisory council can assist in developing goals and in
finding ways to reach out to the community about the new program.
The council also can provide input on important decisions about how
the program will be structured.

            Building Consensus

            • Explain current MSW issues
            • Present community's MSW goals
            • Explain how Pay-As-You-Throw
              can meet these goals
            • Residents more likely to support
              program when they see tangible
   It is possible there may be some initial opposition to the program, since
   residents are going to be asked to pay for a service they may think they
   had been getting for free.

   To overcome this, our outreach campaign could first discuss the
   problem. For example, we can let residents know that the increasing
   amount of trash is making MSW management harder and more

   Then, we could relate these issues as goals. For example, we could say
   that a primary goal is to reduce MSW amounts.

   Finally, our campaign should explain pay-as-you-throw and discuss how
   it can help us reduce trash and achieve other goals as well.

       Techniques for Building
       Consensus                    ~L®
          Hold public meetings
          Issue press releases/outreach to
          local media
          Prepare briefs for elected officials
          Work with retailers
          Enclose information with utility
          bills/other mailings to residents
There are many different ways to structure the outreach campaign.
Presentations could be made at public meetings on pay-as-you-throw
and why it can help.

Involving local news outlets via press releases and invitations to public
meetings is important. Achieving positive press coverage could go a long
way toward easing residents' concerns.

Briefings for elected officials can help them better explain the program
in public appearances.

Retailers can be educated about the program and also can display
materials about it in their stores. Direct outreach to residents through
mailings can be effective as well.

    Another effective method of generating public support is to reach out
    to specific groups, such as the elderly or school children.

    Children in particular are an important audience. Children tend to
    bring the messages they receive back home to their parents, which can
    help pay-as-you-throw gain acceptance community-wide.

         Rate Structure Container
           • Tags

           • Bags
The next step is to design the structure of the program.

Some programs sell tags or stickers to residents to affix to their own
bags. Under this system, the price of the tag or sticker includes the
collection and management costs for the trash. The tag often indicates a
specific size container, and alerts collection crews that the waste has
been paid for.

Bags with some type of distinctive marking or color can be sold to
residents at retail outlets or municipal offices. The price of the bag
includes the collection and management costs for the trash.

Cans also can be used. One option is to offer a large can, and bill
residents for the number of cans they fill up. Smaller size cans also
could be used for any waste beyond the first large container.


    Bag and tag systems tend to allow for faster collection, and no billing is
    needed. Residents tend to find these systems easy to understand.

    There can be some revenue uncertainty, however, since residents may
    buy bunches of bags or tags at hard-to-predict intervals.

Can systems tend to offer greater revenue stability, and won't tear or
scatter trash. Cans also often are compatible with automatic collection

A system for billing residents for their can set-outs is needed, however,
which can increase administrative costs.

             Rate Structure Systems for
             Unit Pricing

                   • Variable
   The next step is to decide how to price the containers.

   Under proportional systems, a flat price is charged for each container.
   This provides a very simple, clear signal to residents to reduce waste,
   and it is easy to administer.

   The variable rate is used when different size containers are available.
   One price is used for the large container, and different prices are set
   for the smaller containers residents might use.

   Because  revenues may fluctuate with linear and variable rate systems,
   some communities use two-tiered or multi-tiered systems. These
   options establish a monthly flat fee to cover the fixed costs of MSW
   management. Then, a per-container charge is set on top of that. This
   lessens the waste reduction signal somewhat, but minimizes any
   revenue  uncertainty.

Because residents have an incentive to reduce waste, it makes sense to
offer additional avenues to accomplish this. These options are called
complementary programs.

For example, nearly all communities with pay-as-you-throw include
curbside recycling collections. Recycling enables residents to divert a
large percentage of the waste they have generated.

             Complementary Programs
               Recycling collections
               Yard trimmings collections for
               Bulky items pickups
   Yard trimmings, which comprise a large percentage of the waste
   stream, also can be diverted through curbside collection or by
   encouraging backyard composting.

   Bulky items will need to be planned for. Because they cost more to
   collect and dispose of, many communities have established a special fee
   system for "white goods" or bulky items using tags or stickers. Residents
   often are asked to put a set number of tags or stickers on these large
   waste items to indicate that their collection has been paid for.

       Designing a Rate Structure
            • Estimate Demand:
              	cubic yards/tons MSW
            • Determine Services
              (curbside recycling, low-income
              assistance, etc.)

            • Estimate Costs:
              $	fixed and variable costs
After making the basic decisions about the program, the next step is to
create a rate structure that balances costs and revenues.

The first step is estimating the demand for services, expressed as the
amount of waste you expect to collect annually. This figure should take
into account possible changes in the size of our community and the
waste reduction impact of the new program.

The next step is determining the services that will be offered with the
program. These services might include curbside recycling, a composting
program, bulky waste collection, or assistance to low- or fixed-income

Next, the cost  of collecting the estimated amount of waste and
providing the planned services needs to be calculated.

             Designing a Rate Structure
                 • Develop Rates: $
                 • Calculate Revenues:
                  	units MSW x $
   Revenues then need to be calculated.

   First, an estimated fee per container should be established. Then, this
   rate is multiplied by the annual number of containers residents are
   expected to fill. These are the revenues that the program will generate.

        Designing a Rate Structure
             • Weigh costs against revenues
             • Adjust costs and/or revenues as
Now the expected costs and the projected revenues can be compared
and balanced.

It is likely that adjustments will be needed. It may be necessary to cut
back on some services or raise the per-container fee to cover a

On the other hand, if a surplus is projected, then the container fee
could be lowered. A lower price  also might help convince residents to
support the program.

                Challenges and Solutions
              Illegal dumping

              Low-income groups
              Covering costs &
              revenue stability
              Regressivity &
              hidden tax issues
Education, legal
diversions, enforcement
Include charges in
rent, bar code chutes
Rebates, discounts
Two-tiered billing

Appropriate pricing
and refunds
   There are a number of potential barriers we need to consider. With
   the appropriate planning, these barriers can be overcome.

   The most commonly voiced concern when pay-as-you-throw is
   proposed is illegal dumping. However, experience from communities
   with pay-as-you-throw has shown that illegal dumping typically is less of
   an issue than originally feared. The key is educating residents to keep
   them from dumping their waste and  provide them with significant
   opportunities (such as recycling and composting) to divert their waste
   legally. Strong enforcement also should be available.

   Residents in multi-family housing can be difficult to service, since they
   often place their trash in common dumpsters. Possible solutions include
   adding the charges to rent or incorporating bar code readers in
   garbage chutes to monitor waste generation by residents.

   To help low-income groups participate, rebates, discounts, or other
   forms of assistance can be provided.

(Challenges and Solutions, continued)

If it turns out that a major priority is to ensure that revenues will consistently
cover costs, a two-tiered or multi-tiered rate structure can be used.

Residents also might be concerned about being taxed for solid waste services and
then, under the new program, also being charged the variable fee. Making a point
of lowering taxes by the appropriate amount or redirecting those revenues to
other programs that residents support can help diffuse this issue.

Unit Pricing of
Municipal Solid Waste

MSW Hierarchy Pyramid
                and Recycling
          Landfilling and Combustion

Potential Benefits
  Encourages the Three Rs:


Potential Benefits
  Encourages the Three Es:

  Waste Reduction  Results
£ Perkasie, PA
K MN Town I
« MN Town 2
ri Duke University
  Study of 14 cities

6 MA Cities
::: Before Unit Pricing
:: After Unit Pricing

  Cornell University,
  Tompkins County, NY

1.5 - 4.5 ppd
0.89 - 1.09 ppd

76% of residents
reduced waste

Different  Unit Pricing
         Type of   Change in
Population Program  MSW
   Plantation, FL
   Perkasie, PA
   High Bridge, NY
   Illion, NY
   Pasadena, CA
   Loveland, CO
   Austin, TX
   Dupage County, IL
                 in recycling
+ 18%
 * Data not avalilable

Deciding Whether to Use
  Will the program meet our
  MSW goals?
  Will residents support the
  Will costs and revenues

Pay-As- You-Throw Goals
                   " — **-°
  Raise sufficient revenues
  Encourage MSW reduction through
  price signals
  Convey a better understanding of social costs
  to citizens
  Charge for recycling and other
  complementary programs
  Allow for the needs of special groups
  Keep the program simple to use and run

Education and Outreach
  Need the support of residents!
  Build consensus with an outreach
  Citizens' advisory council
  can help:
  r Set goals               4
    Build consensus


Building Consensus

  Explain current MSW issues
  Present community's MSW goals
  Explain how Pay-As-You-Throw
  can meet these goals
  Residents more likely to support
  program when they see tangible

Techniques for Building

  Hold public meetings
  Issue press releases/outreach to
  local media
  Prepare briefs for elected officials
  Work with retailers
  Enclose information with utility
  bills/other mailings to residents


Rate Structure Container



 Rate Structure Systems for
 Unit Pricing

VV\ *°


Complementary Programs
 m~-,"~\ "-'• »\j> W*.«•! - **- • *' "" ••"•"• 		                 ~ •>••— *«Bfi,»£~»»v^ , v
" * - - ** °''*' "" "'                          "
! -C '
Recycling collections
Yard trimmings collections for
Bulky items pickups

Designing a Rate Structure
    ® Estimate Demand:
      	cubic yards/tons MSW

    ® Determine Services
      (curbside recycling, low-income
      assistance, etc.)
      Estimate Costs:
      $	fixed and variable costs

Designing a Rate Structure

    ; Develop Rates: $	per unit

     Calculate Revenues:
     	units MSW  x $	per unit = $

Designing a Rate Structure
      Weigh costs against revenues
    i Adjust costs and/or revenues as
    Costs         *rfs8ffi««         Revenues

"Os U '*'
  Challenges and Solutions
Illegal dumping      Education, legal
                   diversions, enforcement
Multi-family         Include charges in
housing            rent, bar code chutes
Low-income groups  Rebates, discounts
Covering costs &    Two-tiered billing
revenue stability
Regressivity &       Appropriate pricing
hidden tax issues    and refunds

                 Public   Outreach
                           esigning and implementing an outreach and education effort
                           directed at residents are critical steps in the development of
                           your pay-as-you-throw program. Achieving a broad level of
                           public support can help ensure not only that your program
                     will be successfully implemented, but that residents will begin
                     responding as hoped: by increasing recycling and taking more
                     aggressive measures to prevent waste. There is no single model or
                     solution to this challenge. The extent of outreach necessary to get a
                     pay-as-you-throw program up and running will vary from community
                     to community.
                     This section presents several ideas for outreach materials that can
                     help you begin to  earn  the support of your residents. Review the
                     materials described below with your unique outreach needs  in mind
                     and select the tools that you think will help you effectively deliver
                     your pay-as-you-throw  message to the audiences you need to reach.
                     The outreach materials and ideas in this section include:
                     •  A set of five fact sheets introducing pay-as-you-throw.
                     •  Other outreach ideas and strategies, including press releases,
                        public meetings, newsletters, and flyers.
                     •  A selection of clip art to help you create your own, customized
                        outreach materials.
                     In general, successful public outreach efforts typically involve two
                     components. The first component focuses on soliciting input about
                     the program from community stakeholders prior to implementation.
                     For example, it may be the case that your community's residents
                     would support a pay-as-you-throw program if they considered it to

                               be sufficiently convenient. In this case, presenting them with possible
                               arrangements-such as a system of bags available for purchase at
                               local retailers versus a subscription-based system using cans—and
                               asking them which system they would prefer can make a tremen-
                               dous difference in their ultimate willingness to support the program.
                               The second type of outreach should take place just before and dur-
                               ing program implementation. Once you have made a decision about
                               the type of pay-as-you-throw system that is most appropriate for
                               your community, you will need to clearly convey detailed informa-
                               tion to residents about the program and how they can participate.
                               Residents will need to thoroughly understand how the program
                               works before they will begin to reduce and recycle more.
                               Review the materials in this section  and decide which products can
                               best help you solicit feedback and educate your residents about pay-
                               as-you-throw. In addition, you might consider whether items like the
                               videotape included in this Tool Kit and the worksheets in the next sec-
                               tion of this workbook also can help strengthen your public outreach.

Fact Sheets
         Fact sheets can help community decisionmakers introduce pay-
         as-you-throw to local stakeholders and begin showing them
         why a pay-as-you-throw program might be a good idea. EPA
    developed the following five fact sheets to introduce pay-as-you-
    throw to what are, for many communi-
    ties, their most important audiences.
    These are:  1) community residents;
    2) MSW planners; 3) local elected
    officials; 4) state officials; and 5) mem
    bers of civic and environmental
    A quick and easy way
    to raise awareness about
    pay-as-yo u-th row,
    these fact sheets can be
    reproduced and distrib-
    uted to target audiences
    within your community.
    The fact sheets also can be
    adapted for your own, cus-
    tomized outreach flyers.
    (See the flyers and
    brochures ideas found on
    page 109 of this workbook.)
    The text can be revised as needed,
    and, in the Clip Art section that
    begins on page 111, you will find reproducible samples of
    each of the illustrations


                       United States
                       Environmental Protection
                     Solid Waste and
                     Emergency Response
             September 1996
  4>EPA          Pay-As-You-Throw
                       Throw Away  Less  and Save
      Do you know
    how much you
  spend per month
on electricity? How
    about your gas
 utility? The person
 who pays the bills
 in your household
    probably has a
  pretty good idea.
  But do you know
    how much you
spend on garbage?
      Each time your city or town
      sends a truck down your
      street to pick up your waste,
      it costs money. It costs
money even if you drop your trash
off at a local dump. Ultimately, you
pay for this service, usually through
your local taxes. And it's not likely
that you have much control over the
amount you pay, regardless of how
much garbage you create.

There is a different system, how-
ever, under which residents are
              asked to pay for
              waste collection
          directly—based on
   the amount of garbage they
actually generate. They're called
"pay-as-you-throw" programs, and
nearly 2,000 communities across
the country have begun using

What is
Pay-as-you-throw is a differ-
ent way of paying for waste
collection and disposal ser-
vices. In some pay-as-you-
throw communities, it works
on a per-container basis: house-
holds are charged for each bag or
can of waste they generate. A few
communities bill residents based on
the weight of their trash. Either
way, the system motivates people to
recycle more and to think about
ways to generate less waste in the
first place.

For community residents, however,
the most important advantage of
pay-as-you-throw may be the fair-
ness and greater control over costs
that it offers. Do you have neighbors
that never seem to  recycle, and
always leave out six or seven bags of
trash? While you may not have
thought about it,
right now        ,  «  •
you're        •            •

helping them pay for that waste. Under pay-as-     raised issue. While people often assume that
you-throw, everyone pays only for what they
generate—so you won't have to subsidize your
neighbor's wastefulness anymore. It's only fair.
With pay-as-you-throw, when you recycle and
prevent waste, you're reward-
ed with a lower trash bill.
Because of these potential
cost savings, both you and
your neighbors will naturally
want to reduce the amount
of waste that you generate.
And when people reduce
waste, that can mean lower
costs for your community,
since it costs less to collect
and dispose of everyone's
trash. This might even free
up funding for other munici-
pal services you depend
upon—like schools and fire
and police protection.

In addition, the pay-as-you-
throw incentive to put less
waste at the curb can make a
big environmental difference.
When people generate less
waste and recycle more,
fewer natural resources are
used and there is less pollu-
tion from manufacturing.
Valuable landfill space is con-
served as well, reducing the
need to site new facilities.
                illegal dumping will increase once residents are
                asked to pay for each container of waste they
                generate, most communities with pay-as-you-
                throw have found this not to be the case. This is
                             especially true when communi-
                             ties offer their residents recy-
                             cling, composting for yard
                             trimmings, and other programs
                             that allow individuals to reduce
                             waste legally. Others, particular-
                             ly lower-income residents,
                             worry about the amount they
                             will have to pay. In many com-
                             munities, however, coupon or
                             voucher programs are being
                             used to help reduce trash collec-
                             tion costs for these households.
When people
generate less
waste and
recycle  more,
fewer natural
resources are
used  and
there is less
pollution from
              What can I  do?
Are there disadvantages to

While there are potential barriers to a success-
ful program, communities with pay-as-you-
throw report that they have found effective
solutions. Illegal dumping is a frequently
              If you're interested in pay-as-
              you-throw, talk to your town
              planner or local elected repre-
              sentatives! Ask them if they
              know about pay-as-you-throw,
              and whether they would con-
              sider using it in your commu-
              nity. If you or your town's
              officials want to know more
              about pay-as-you-throw, EPA
              has developed a guidebook
              you can use. Pay-As-You-
              Throw: Lessons Learned About
              Unit Pricing (EPA530-R-94-004)
              contains background informa-
              tion on the advantages of
pay-as-you-throw and provides detailed infor-
mation on how these programs work. To order
a copy, call the EPA/RCRA Superfund Hotline
at 800-424-9346 or TDD 800-553-7672 for the
hearing impaired. For Washington, DC, and
outside the United States, call 703-412-9810 or
TDD 703-412-3323.

                      United States
                      Environmental Protection
                   Solid Waste and
                   Emergency Response
          September 1996
&EPA          Pay-As-You-Throw
                      A Fact  Sheet for MSW Planners
     MSW programs
today need to offer
 more than reliable
    waste collection
   services. In some
   communities, the
       issue is rising
      collection and
      disposal costs.
 Other communities
     are looking for
     ways to extend
    landfill  capacity.
         As an MSW planner, you
         know how important it is
         to reduce the amount of
         waste residents put out
for collection (or bring to the landfill).

In fact, your community probably
started a recycling program to help
divert some of this waste from dis-
posal. Even with a strong recycling
program, however, it's likely that
your residents are steadily throwing
away more each year—pointing to
the need for not only more recy-
cling, but getting residents to gener-
ate less waste in the first place.

For MSW planners in nearly 2,000
communities, a program called "pay-
as-you-throw" is helping them meet
this challenge.

What is pay-as-you-
Pay-as-you-throw programs, also
known as unit-based pricing or
variable-rate pricing, provide a
direct economic incentive for
your residents to
reduce the
amount of waste they generate.
Under pay-as-you-throw, households
are charged for waste collection
based on the amount of waste they
throw away—in the same way that
they are charged for electricity, gas,
and other utilities. As a result, resi-
dents are motivated not only to
increase the amount they recycle but
to think about ways to generate less
waste in the first place.

Pay-as-you-throw programs can be
structured in  several different ways.
Some communities charge residents
based on the volume of waste they
generate. Under volume-based pro-
grams, residents are charged a fee
for each bag or can they fill up.
Communities also can require that
residents purchase tags or stickers
and affix them to their own contain-
        ers. Other communities
          bill residents based on
          the weight of their
             because of
              the cost of the
              equipment needed
               to weigh the

and record the amount for billing purposes,
weight-based programs are far less common.

What are the benefits of
However it is structured, pay-as-you-throw has the
potential to improve MSW programs in several
important ways. First, there are significant econom-
ic benefits. Because of the incentive to generate
less, communities with programs in place have
reported reductions in waste amounts ranging from
25 to 45 percent, on average. For many communi-
ties, this can lead to lower disposal costs, savings in
waste transportation expenses, and other cost sav-
ings. Pay-as-you-throw communi-
ties also typically report
significant increases in recycling.
In some cases, this can yield
increased revenues from the sale
of collected materials.
In addition, pay-as-you-throw
programs can be designed to
cover the cost not only of waste
collection and disposal, but also
some or all of the community's
complementary MSW programs
(such as recycling, composting, and bulky waste
collections). Of course, there often are new costs
for the community when a pay-as-you-throw pro-
gram is adopted, including expenditures for edu-
cation and enforcement. These costs usually are
not significant, however—and they can be built
into a pay-as-you-throw rate structure to ensure
that they will be covered.

Another advantage of pay-as-you-throw programs is
the greater control over costs they offer to residents.
While they may not realize it, your residents pay for
waste management services. And whether they pay
through their taxes or a flat fee, those residents that
generate less and recycle more are paying for neigh-
bors that generate two or even three times as much
waste. With pay-as-you-throw, residents that reduce
and recycle are rewarded with a lower trash bill.
This incentive to put less waste at the curb also
can make a big environmental difference. When
people generate less waste and recycle more, fewer
natural resources are used, there is less pollution
from manufacturing, and less landfill space is con-
sumed—reducing the need to site new facilities.

Are  there disadvantages to pay-
While there are potential barriers to a successful
program, communities with pay-as-you-throw
report that they have found effective solutions.
Community officials often raise the prospect of
illegal dumping when they first learn about pay-
                as-you-throw. Most communities
                with pay-as-you-throw, however,
                have found that illegal dumping
                in fact did not increase after
                implementation. This is especial-
                ly true when communities offer
                their residents recycling, com-
                posting for yard trimmings, and
                other programs that allow indi-
                viduals to reduce waste legally.
                Others, particularly lower-income
                residents, worry about the
                amount they will have to pay. In
many communities, however, coupon or voucher
programs are  being used to help reduce trash col-
lection costs for these households.

How can  I learn more about pay-
EPA has developed a guidebook for anyone inter-
ested in pay-as-you-throw programs. Pay-As-You-
Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing
(EPA530-R-94-004) contains background informa-
tion on the advantages of pay-as-you-throw and
provides detailed information on how these pro-
grams work. To order a copy, call the EPA/RCRA
Superfund Hotline at 800-424-9346 or TDD 800-
553-7672 for the hearing impaired. For
Washington,  DC, and outside the United States,
call 703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323.

                         United States
                         Environmental Protection
                      Solid Waste and
                      Emergency Response
              September 1996
   &EPA          Pay-As-You-Throw
                         A Fact Sheet for  Elected
      As an elected
    official in your
   community, you
         have many
 besides municipal
solid waste (MSW)
  it's an important
       Residents in most communi-
       ties have come to expect
       efficient, reliable trash col-
       lection and disposal, and
tend to support those officials that
can get the job done.

This task has been growing more
complicated, however. First of all,
it's likely that your residents are
generating more waste each year,
even if you have a recycling program
in place.

That can mean escalating costs.  And
whether your residents pay for
MSW services through a direct, flat
fee or via their property taxes, it's
not a very equitable system: every-
one pays the same amount, no mat-
ter how much (or how little) trash
they actually produce.
What is
Fortunately, there is a system out
there that can help your MSW man-
agement personnel meet these chal-
lenges. In nearly 2,000 communities
across the country, a program called
"pay-as-you-throw" is offering resi-
dents a more equitable way to pay for
collection and disposal of their
trash—while, at the same time,
encouraging them to create less waste
and increase the amount they recycle.

Pay-as-you-throw programs, also
called unit-based or variable-rate pric-
ing, provide a direct economic incen-
tive for residents to reduce waste.
Under pay-as-you-throw, households
are charged for waste collection based
on the amount of waste they throw
away—in the same way that they are
charged for electricity, gas, and other
utilities. If they throw away less, they
 pay less. Some communities charge
   residents for each bag or can of
       waste they generate. In a few
         communities, households
          are billed based on the
             weight of their

What are the benefits of

Pay-as-you-throw gives residents greater control
over their costs. While they may not realize it, your
constituents are paying for waste management ser-
vices. And, whether they pay through taxes or a flat
fee, residents that generate less and recycle more are
paying for neighbors that generate two or even three
times as much waste. When a few
residents generate more waste, every-
one pays for it. With pay-as-you-
throw, residents that reduce and
recycle are rewarded with a lower
trash bill.
As a result, households under pay-as-
you-throw tend to generate less
waste. Communities with programs in
place have reported reductions in
waste amounts ranging from 25 to 45
percent, on average. Recycling tends
to increase significantly as well. And
less waste means that a community
might be able to spend less of its
municipal budget on waste collection
and disposal—possibly even freeing
up funds for other essential services
like education and police protection.
Because residents stand to pay less (if
they generate less), pay-as-you-throw
communities have typically reported
strong public support for their pro-
grams. The initial reaction from resi-
dents can vary, however—some        ;
residents might feel that the program
is no more than an added charge. To
address  this, it is important to explain to residents at
the outset how the program works, why it is a more
equitable system, and how they can benefit from it.
Pay-as-you-throw has tended to work best where
elected officials and other community leaders have
reached out to residents with a thorough education

Many of the resulting programs have been highly
successful, and have often attracted attention. In
waste they throw away.
helps municipalities eat
 tho need to site new
 some cases, pay-as-you-throw has worked so well
 that the communities have become models in their
 region, demonstrating how MSW services can be
 improved. And within the community, elected offi-
 cials can point to pay-as-you-throw as an example of
 municipal improvements they helped bring about.

 Are there disadvantages to
              While there are potential barriers to a
i              successful program, communities
              with pay-as-you-throw report that
              they have found effective solutions.
              Illegal dumping is a frequently raised
              issue. While it is often assumed that
              illegal dumping will increase once
              residents are asked to pay for each
              container of waste they generate,
              most communities with pay-as-you-
              throw have found this not to be the
              case. This is especially true when
              communities offer their residents
              recycling, composting for yard trim-
              mings, and other programs that allow
              individuals to reduce waste legally.
              Others, particularly lower-income res-
              idents, worry about the amount they
              will have to pay. In many communi-
              ties, however, coupon or voucher
              programs are being used to help
              reduce trash collection costs for these
                           How can I learn more
                           about pay-as-you-throw?
             EPA has developed a guidebook for anyone interested
             in pay-as-you-throw programs. Pay-As-You-Throw:
             Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing (EPA530-R-94-004)
             contains background information on the advantages
             of pay-as-you-throw and provides detailed informa-
             tion on how these programs work. To order a copy,
             call the EPA/RCRA Superfund Hotline at 800-424-
             9346 or TDD 800-553-7672 for the hearing impaired.
             For Washington, DC, and outside the United States,
             call 703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323.

                        United States
                        Environmental Protection
                    Solid Waste and
                    Emergency Response
            September 1996
  &EPA          Pay-As-You-Throw
                        A Fact  Sheet for State  Officials
     Like most state
        officials and
    planners, you've
      probably been
    emphasizing the
 MSW management
recommending that
 prevent waste and
 recycle as much of
      the remainder
         as possible.
       Today, the MSW management
       hierachy is the focus of solid
       waste planning in most
       states. This has helped recy-
cling programs to spread quickly,
and recycling markets have been
developed to purchase and process
the collected materials.

Source reduction, however, has fallen
behind this pace. While the rate of
increase is slowing, individuals in
this country are continuing to gener-
ate more waste each year—and, as a
result, waste management is growing
more difficult. Communities in your
state need programs that will do
more than increase  recycling: they
need to encourage  residents to pre-
vent waste, too.
For growing numbers of communi-
ties, "pay-as-you-throw" programs
are being used to achieve this goal.
While fewer than 200 programs were
in existence as recently as the mid-
1980s, today, nearly 2,000 communi-
ties across the country are using
pay-as-you-throw to better manage
solid waste.

What is
Pay-as-you-throw programs, also
known as unit-based pricing or vari-
able-rate pricing, provide a direct
economic incentive for individuals to
reduce the amount of waste they gen-
erate. Under pay-as-you-throw,
households are charged for waste
collection based on the amount of
waste they throw away—in the same
way that they are charged for
      electricity,  gas, and
                                                               other utilities. As a result,
                                                              residents are motivated not
                                                              only to recycle more but to
                                                              think about ways to generate
                                                              less waste in the first place.

Pay-as-you-throw programs can be structured in sev-
eral different ways. Some communities charge resi-
dents based on the volume of waste they generate.
Under volume-based programs, residents pay for
each bag or can they fill up. Communities also can
require that residents purchase tags or stickers and
affix them to their own containers. Other communi-
ties bill residents based on the weight of their
trash—although, because of the cost of the equip-
ment needed to weigh the waste and
record the amount for billing pur-
poses, weight-based programs are far
less common.

What are the  benefits of
However they are structured, all pay-
as-you-throw programs share impor-
tant benefits for both communities
and their residents. First, households
under pay-as-you-throw have more
control over their solid waste man-
agement costs.  While they may not realize it,  resi-
dents pay for the waste management services they
receive. And whether they pay through their taxes or
a flat fee, those residents that generate less and recy-
cle more are paying for neighbors that generate two
or three times as much waste. With pay-as-you-
throw, residents that reduce and recycle are rewarded
with a lower trash bill.

In communities with pay-as-you-throw programs,
this incentive has resulted in reported average reduc-
tions in waste amounts ranging from 25 to 45 per-
cent. Recycling tends to increase significantly as
well, further cutting down on the amount of waste
requiring disposal. This can mean  lower disposal
costs, savings in waste transportation expenses,
potentially greater revenues from the sale of recov-
ered materials,  and other cost savings.

And less waste and increased recycling at the local
level translates into an improved solid waste  man-
agement picture statewide. Increased amounts of
recovered materials will become available to proces-
sors and remanufacturers, encouraging the develop-
ment of increased recycling capacity and other
investments in the infrastructure of recycling. The
potential for lower costs can help increase the long-
term economic stability of your communities' MSW
programs. And less waste means fewer natural
resources will be depleted, less energy used, and less
landfill space consumed, helping preserve your state's
environment. Because of these kinds of advantages,
pay-as-you-throw has received bipartisan support at
both the state and local levels. The use of pay-as-you-
                    throw also has been endorsed
                    by the National Conference of
                    State Legislatures (NCSL).

                    Are there  disadvan-
                    tages to pay-as-you-
                    While there are potential barri-
                    ers to a successful program,
                    communities with pay-as-you-
                    throw have found effective
                    solutions. Local officials, for
                    example, often assume that ille-
gal dumping will increase once residents are asked to
pay for each container of waste they generate. Most
communities with pay-as-you-throw have found this
not to be the case, however, especially when they
offer their residents recycling, composting for yard
trimmings, and other programs that allow individuals
to reduce waste  legally. Others, particularly lower-
income residents, worry about the amount they will
have to pay. In many communities, however, coupon
or voucher programs are being used to help reduce
trash collection costs for these households.

How can I learn more about
EPA has developed a guidebook for anyone interested
in pay-as-you-throw programs. Pay-As-You-Throw:
Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing (EPA530-R-94-004)
contains background information on the advantages
of pay-as-you-throw and provides detailed informa-
tion on how these programs work. To order a copy,
call the EPA/RCRA Superfund Hotline at 8(XM24-
9346 or TDD 800-553-7672 for the hearing impaired.
For Washington, DC, and outside the United States,
call 703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323.

                        United States
                        Environmental Protection
                      Solid Waste and
                      Emergency Response
              September 1996
encourage people
to save money by
     recycling and
 Imagine—a solid
   waste solution
   that's good for
   the wallet and
          helps the
A Fact  Sheet for  Environmental
and  Civic Groups
            When it comes to man-
            aging solid waste, the
            goal for the past 10
            years has been to
reduce, reuse, and recycle. Today,
thousands of community recycling
programs are diverting millions of
tons of valuable materials—materials
that would otherwise be thrown
away—for remanufacturing     *
into useful products.
Despite the tremen-
dous growth in recycling,
however, waste genera-    *
tion rates among individu-     
 What are the benefits of

 Pay-as-you-throw programs have environmental and
 economic advantages, and are often more equitable for
 residents—a combination of benefits called the
 "Three Es." Communities with programs in place have
 reported reductions in waste amounts ranging from
 25 to 45 percent, on average. This results in several
 important environmental benefits. Less waste and
 greater recycling means that fewer natural resources
 are used, less energy is consumed, and less pollution
 is created. In addition, landfill space is
 used at a slower rate, reducing the
 need to site additional  facilities.

 Pay-as-you-throw also can send an
 important source reduction signal to
 product manufacturers. When indi-
 vidual consumers begin to under-
 stand that their trash costs money,
 they are likely to adjust their pur-
 chasing habits to favor products that
 will result in less waste—and, there-
 fore, cost less—when discarded. As
 more communities adopt pay-as-you-throw, manufac-
 turers will have an incentive to redesign their prod-
 ucts to appeal to this growing consumer preference.

 There also are potential economic advantages, both
 for communities and their residents. Because they
 often have more recovered materials and less waste
 to dispose of, many communities with pay-as-you-
 throw find their  disposal costs go down. Pay-as-you-
 throw also can yield savings in waste transportation
 expenses and potentially greater revenues from the
 sale of collected recyclables.

 In addition, while they  may not realize it, residents pay
 to throw away trash. And whether they pay through
their taxes or a flat fee,  those individuals that generate
less and recycle more are paying for neighbors that
generate two or three times as much waste. Pay-as-you-
throw is more equitable: residents that reduce and recy-
 cle are rewarded with a  lower trash bill.

Are there disadvantages to
While there are potential barriers to a successful pro-
gram, communities with pay-as-you-throw have found
effective solutions. Local officials, for example, often
assume that illegal dumping will increase once residents
are asked to pay for each container of waste they gener-
ate. Most communities with pay-as-you-throw have
found this not to be the case, however, especially when
they offer their residents recycling, composting for
yard trimmings, and other programs that allow indi-
viduals to reduce waste legally. Others, particularly
lower-income residents, worry about the amount they
will have to pay. In many communities, however,
coupon or voucher programs are being used to help
reduce trash collection costs for these households.

              How can our
              organization  help?
              In many cases, local officials either
              are not aware of pay-as-you-throw or
              haven't considered how it might
              work in their community. While pay-
              as-you-throw may not  be appropriate
              for all communities, municipal plan-
              ners can benefit from learning about
              such programs. Your organization  can
              work with local, regional, or state
government officials to make them aware of the ben-
efits of pay-as-you-throw and how any potential bar-
riers might be overcome.

And, once communities in your area begin to plan
pay-as-you-throw programs, your organization can
assist in development and implementation. By help-
ing municipal officials plan programs that are rea-
sonable and equitable, and educating people about
the benefits of the new system, your organization
can play a role in improving the way we manage
solid waste in this country.

How can I  learn more about
EPA has developed a guidebook for anyone interested
in pay-as-you-throw programs. Pay-As-You-Throw:
Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing (EPA530-R-94-004)
contains background information on the advantages
of pay-as-you-throw and provides detailed informa-
tion on how these programs work. To order a copy,
call the EPA/RCRA Superfund Hotline at 800-424-
9346 or TDD 800-553-7672 for the hearing impaired.
For Washington, DC, and outside the United States,
call 703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323.

Other Outreach  Strategies
          This section presents a number of other ideas for reaching out
          to residents in your community. As you review these products,
          keep in mind your community's
    specific public outreach goals and think
    about which combination of the follow-
    ing strategies might best help you
    meet them.
Press Releases

                                   •*•*•«*£-• -
As you begin to develop and pub-
licize your pay-as-you-throw pro-
gram, coverage by local radio
and print media outlets is likely.
For MSW planners, this
should be considered a public
outreach opportunity. At this
point, you can provide local
reporters, editors, and
other news professionals
covering your community
with the key facts con-
cerning pay-as-you-
throw. This will help ensure
that they understand the issues surrounding
solid waste management in your municipality and why local
officials are considering a pay-as-you-throw program-before they
begin to develop their stories.
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                tan ..
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                «^^:T-- '"^w:^

                              The most common way to accomplish this is to develop and submit
                              press releases to local media outlets. The press release should
                              briefly describe the essential information about your program: what
                              pay-as-you-throw is, why a change in the way residents pay for trash
                              collection and disposal is being proposed, and how residents can
                              participate—and, if they reduce waste, save money—under the new
                              program. Additional press releases can be developed later to
                              announce other news, such as town meetings on pay-as-you-throw
                              or any changes in the  program.
                              You might also consider other ways to provide information to the
                              local media, including  developing more comprehensive press kits (in
                              addition to press releases, these can include items such as back-
                              ground reports and newsclippings from other pay-as-you-throw
                              communities in your county or state) and conducting news confer-
                              ences or briefings for  residents about your program.

Public Meetings
     Town meetings and other public gatherings offer a good opportunity
     to introduce residents to pay-as-you-throw, discuss how it can help
     the community, and answer any questions that people might have. If
     you are planning such a presentation, you might want to develop an
     invitation flyer to promote the
     event. (See Section One of this
     workbook for more information
     on planning a presentation on
     The meeting invitation can
     include information describ-
     ing the concept of pay-as-
     you-throw and its
     advantages and  letting res-
     idents know that their
     community is consider-
     ing such a program. It
     also can indicate that
     the meeting is being
     called not only to
     present the pro-
     posed program
     but to hear what
     residents think—
     that this input will
     be seriously considered before
     decisions about the final program are
     made. Be sure to include space on the invitation to  list
     the date, time, and location of the meeting, and invite residents to
     come ask questions and learn about the program.

                              Many communities planning for pay-as-you-throw have developed
                              newsletters to publicize their program. Creating and distributing a
                              small (two- or four-page) monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly newslet-
                              ter offers a chance to provide more information about your pro-
                              gram than you are likely to get in the media. Newsletters also allow
                              you to provide periodic updates as the program is developed—in
                              many communities, the newsletter is launched well before program
                              implementation—and help ensure that all residents are thoroughly
                              aware of the program. You also can provide ongoing information
                              about your program directly to the specific stakeholders you want
                              to target.
                              Your newsletter can be used to introduce residents to pay-as-you-throw
                               and clearly describe how the program can help both residents and
                                           the municipality to reduce waste and save money. You
                                                      also can use the newsletter to ask residents
                                                                 for their input and provide
                                                                           them with infor-
                                                                           mation about how
                                                                          to participate
                                                                         before and during
                                                                        implementation. To
                                                                       effectively reach your
                                                                       audience, be sure to
                                                                      write the newsletter
                                                                     articles in clear, everyday
                                                                    language. In addition, resi-
                                                                   dents will be more likely to
                                                                   pick up and read a visually
                                                                 attractive newsletter. Refer
                                                                 to the Clip Art section, begin-
                                                                ning on page 111  of this work-
                                                               book, for a set of illustrations
                                                               and mastheads that you can use
                                                              when creating your newsletter.
   *** itf**""*.**>*,*,'*"«



Flyers and  Brochures
      Flyers and brochures are another way to provide pay-as-you-throw
      program information directly to households in your community. You
      can create a general flyer to introduce residents to pay-as-you-throw
      and its advantages or develop more specific versions that each focus
      on one particular aspect of your program (for example, procedures
      for purchasing bags or tips on how residents can reduce waste). Like
      newsletters, flyers and brochures can be used to deliver specific
      ideas about pay-as-you-throw to target audiences within your
      An advantage to flyers and brochures is that they can be distributed
      through a number of different channels. They can be posted around
      town to advertise an upcoming pay-as-you-throw meeting or event,
      placed in stores and municipal
      offices, or direct mailed to resi-
      dents individually with utility
      bills or in other periodic
      mailings. To help get your
      message across, try to
      design flyers that will
      attract the attention of
      your audiences. You
      can use the illustra-
      tions  in the Clip Art
      section, beginning
      on page 111  of
      this workbook,
      to help create
      and assemble
      effective fact

Clip  Art
              Outreach and education
              materials often need to
              do more than provide the
     facts about pay-as-you-throw. To be
     effective, they need to be graphically
     interesting. Providing eye-catching
     fact sheets, newsletters, posters,
     brochures, and other materials can
     help you attract the attention of your
     audiences and get your message
     across. This section includes a set of
     over 40 clip art illustrations that you
     can use to help simplify the task of
     putting together well-designed
     outreach products.
     Once you have decided which public out-
     reach products you would like to develop,
     turn to the clip art that follows. Select the
     illustrations and icons you want (be sure
     to photocopy the original page or pages so
     the masters can be used again), clip them out, and use glue
     or clear tape to lay out your own newsletters, flyers, or other publici-
     ty materials. If you plan to develop outreach materials on a computer
     and have access to a  scanner, you might scan the images you want to
     use. The scanned clip art then can be electronically added to your
     computer-designed outreach materials. Or simply refer to these illus-
     trations for ideas and develop your own clip art images-be creative!
     When your design is ready,  use a photocopier to make as many
     copies as you need and distribute them to the target audiences in
     your community.

 Pay-As-You-Throw Clip Art
                                                             NT-  fc,

Pay-As-You-Throw Clip Art

Pay-As-You-Throw Clip Art

Pay-As-You-Throw Clip Art

          lanning and implementing a pay-as-you-throw program requires
          careful research and consideration. In the guide Pay-As-You-
          Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing (found in the "Guide-
          books" section of this Tool Kit), the key steps involved in
     pay-as-you-throw program development are explained in detail. The
     worksheets on the following pages are designed to help you apply
     this information to your own planning efforts. These worksheets
     correspond to the guide's four program development steps:
     •  Deciding if pay-as-you-throw is right for your community
         (Worksheets 1 and 2).
     •  Planning for pay-as-you-throw and conducting an outreach
         campaign (Worksheet 3).
     •  Designing  a rate structure (Worksheets 4 and 5).
     •  Implementing and monitoring the program (Worksheets 6 and 7).
     Completing these worksheets will help you make and record the
     critical decisions concerning your program's goals, the messages you
     will deliver in your public outreach, and the kind of container and
     pricing options you will use. The worksheets also will help you
     determine your specific program costs and the price you will need
     to charge per  container to recover these costs. As you complete  the
     worksheets, refer to the Pay-As-You-Jhrow guide as needed for more
     information on each of these program development steps.
     The completed worksheets also can be used in presentations and
     other public outreach events or products to help you make your
     case for pay-as-you-throw. In a briefing for your elected officials, for
     example, you  can use the figures developed in Worksheet 5 (Rate

                             Structure Design) to help convince them that a well-designed pro-
                             gram will not result in additional costs for the community. Some of
                             the worksheets, such as Worksheet 1 (Program Goals) and Work-
                             sheet 2 (Program Barriers), also could be used during a presenta-
                             tion to obtain valuable feedback from attendees about how they feel
                             the program should be designed.

                      PROGRAM     GOALS
Use this worksheet to identify and prioritize the specific goals of your pay-as-you-throw program.
Begin with the goals listed below, ranking each goal on a scale of 1 to 5. A ranking of 5 means it is critical that your
program meets this goal. A ranking of 1 means the goal is of minimal importance. List any other program goals that
come to mind, and rank them as well.
As you think about goals, consider other stakeholders in your community—to be successful, your program also will
need to have their goals in mind.  To help you identify the issues other stakeholders will want addressed, copy the
back of this form and use it to solicit more ideas about goals during pay-as-you-throw meetings or presentations.
 Reduce the amount of solid waste generated/increase recycling rates
 Reduce the total cost of solid waste management
  Remove solid waste management costs from the tax base entirely (by raising sufficient
  revenues to cover all solid waste management costs)
 Subsidize other solid waste programs (such as recycling)
  Increase equity by asking residents to pay only for the waste they generate
  Increase understanding among residents of solid waste issues/environmental issues

      Worksheet  1
   Program Goals: List below the different goals for the pay-as-you-throw program and rank them on a scale of 1 to 5. A
   ranking of 5 means it is critical that the program meets this goal. A ranking of 1 means the goal is of minimal importance.

              POTENTIAL     BARRIERS
Use this worksheet to identify barriers that might affect your program and consider how they can
be overcome.

Begin by reviewing the potential barriers on the matrix below. As you review these potential barriers, be sure to dis-
tinguish between perceived problems—challenges that have solutions or do not apply in your community—and real
barriers that might actually prevent you from achieving your pay-as-you-throw goals. For example, illegal dumping
often turns out to be a perceived barrier. It usually can be overcome with a strong education and outreach program
and effective enforcement. Multi-family housing, by contrast, may be a real barrier for some communities. A high con-
centration of population in multi-family housing might prevent a community from extending pay-as-you-throw to these

Then, on the following page, list the barriers that you feel might apply to your community's program. For each of
these, consider the ways in which you might overcome them. The second page of this form can be copied and used
during pay-as-you-throw  meetings or  presentations to solicit other potential barriers from attendees and to  brain-
storm more solutions.
Sample Barriers and Solutions
Potential Barriers
Illegal dumping/burning
Uneven revenues/revenue shortfalls as
residents generate less waste
Multi-family housing
Perception that waste collection is
free/pay-as-you-throw is a tax increase
Pay-as-you-throw is regressive/low-income
residents feel greater impact
Overstuffing of containers
Lack of support from private waste haulers
Possible Solutions
- Educate residents about pay-as-you-throw
- Provide several legal diversion options
- Develop enforcement plan
- Use multi-tiered pricing
- Plan for reduced waste amounts in steady-state when setting prices
- Include charges in rent
- Under a bag-based system, have tenants purchase bags
- Use bar code readers on building garbage chutes
- Educate residents about pay-as-you-throw
- Set prices at levels residents will accept
- Offer these residents rebates, coupons, or discounts
- Offer free bags to recipients of general assistance
- Set weight limits on containers
- Involve haulers in the planning process
- Pass ordinance mandating haulers offer variable rates

      Worksheet  2
   Potential Barriers: List below potential pay-as-you-throw barriers and consider whether each is actually relevant to your
   community. For each potential barrier you feel may impact your program, list any possible solutions that come to mind.
     Potential Barriers
Possible Solutions

                    PUBLIC     OUTREACH
Use this worksheet to identify specific public outreach goals for your program and consider ways
to achieve them.  This worksheet will help you plan for the two distinct parts of public outreach: A) soliciting feed-
back about pay-as-you-throw during the planning stage and B) educating the community during implementation about
the program's final design and informing residents about how to participate (for example, where to buy bags and
how to handle bulky items). (Refer to the "Public Outreach Materials" section beginning on page 91 of this work-
book for more ideas on how to generate feedback and educate your community.)
  Part   A
Soliciting Feedback
Using this table, consider how you will  obtain input during the planning stage about the  proposed pay-as-you-throw
program. Begin with the audiences from  whom you are seeking feedback. Then, consider possible methods of achieving
this.  In the last column, list when you should begin each of the different strategies for gathering input.
 Retailers/other businesses
        Outreach Methods
        - Direct visits to local retailers to discuss the
         program and ask them about distributing or selling
         bags in stores

        - Invite retailers to public pay-as-you-throw

        - Include retailers in your citizens' advisory council
         or other planning organization
About 6 months before
program implementation
        - Develop a pay-as-you-throw fact sheet introducing
        the program and asking for feedback

        - Issue press releases to the local media to get
        media coverage

        - Hold public meetings on pay-as-you-throw

        - Invite community residents to join your citizens'
        advisory council or other planning organization
About 6-9 months before
program implementation
 Elected officials
        • Hold a briefing for elected officials to Introduce the
         program and ask for their input

        - Include elected officials In the citizens' advisory
         council or other planning organization
About 6 months before
program Implementation

      Worksheet  3
   Soliciting Feedback: For each of the audiences listed below, consider possible outreach methods and a schedule of
   when to begin these strategies. Copy this page as needed to consider ways of reaching additional audiences.
     Retailers/other businesses
Outreach Methods
     Elected officials
     Solid waste staff
     Private haulers

   Worksheet  3  (C
  Part  B
   Educating the Community
Use the table below to consider how to educate your community about pay-as-you-throw. Begin by considering which
audiences you will need to reach. For each audience, list the specific goals of the outreach effort and the message you will
use to reach that group. In the last column, indicate what products you could develop to accomplish this.
 Audience       Goal
- Show residents that
 pay-as-you-throw \s
- Convince residents the
 program is fair and not
 an added tax
- Explain how to use the
 new bag-based system
- The current MSW program
 ultimately is not sustainable
- The program will save you money,
 if you reduce waste (include
 details about how to reduce
 - Participating \s easy—just buy
 bags for your trash at area
 retailers (include details on
 prices, recycling, etc.)
- Flyers posted around town
- Public meetings
- Press releases
- Invite participation through
 the citizens' advisory council
- Brochure mailed to all
- Generate positive media
 coverage of pay-as-you-
- Convince media that the
 program Is needed and
 will work
- The current MSW program
 ultimately is not sustainable
- Pay-as-you-throw has multiple
 benefits: it will give both
 residents and the municipality
 money, reduce waste, and is
 fairer to residents
- More and more communities are
 adopting pay-as-you-throw
- Press release/press kit
- Briefings for reporters
- Invite reporters to town
 meetings/other pay-as-you-
 throw presentations
 Civic groups
- Convince community and
 business leaders that
 pay-as-you-throw is
 needed and will work
- Show that the
 municipality's long-term
 financial health will be
 compromised if no
 change is made
- Involve these leaders in
 the development of the
 program and In selling It
 to residents
- The current MSW program is not
- Pay-as-you-throw will help both
 residents and the municipality
 to save money
- The municipality Is Interested in
 getting help from community
 groups in developing the program
- Briefings for civic groups at
 their meetings
- Public meetings
- One-on-one meetings with civic
 group leaders

      Worksheet  3
   Educating the community: For each of the audiences listed below, consider the goals of your outreach effort, the
   specific message of your outreach to that audience, and the products you might develop to accomplish this. Copy this page
   as needed to consider ways of reaching additional audiences.
     Audience      Goal
     Civic groups
     Private haulers

Use this worksheet to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the different container and
pricing choices and select the best system for your program. In Part A, rank in terms of importance the
characteristics of the mam container and pricing combinations: bags or tags/stickers that are sold at retail stores or
municipal offices; cans under a "pay as you go" pricing system (under which residents are billed based on the number
of cans they set out for collection); and  cans under a subscription system. (Another pricing option that can be used in
combination with any of the container and pricing choices is a two-tiered system, which uses a per-container fee for variable
MSW costs while retaining a monthly flat collection charge for fixed MSW costs. This helps prevent revenue fluctuations).
After ranking the different container and pricing combinations, review your work and record a preliminary system choice
in Part B. Be sure to consider the overall program goals you established in Worksheet 1 when making this choice.
  Part  A
    Container and Pricing System Characteristics
Consider the different advantages and disadvantages of the container and pricing systems and how relevant they are
to your program.  Rank each characteristic on a scale of 1  to 5.  (A ranking of 5 means the issue is extremely impor-
tant for your program. A ranking of 1 means the issue is of minimal importance.)
 System      Advantage/Disadvantage
Stronger waste reduction incentive than can systems
               No billing system needed, so accounting costs lower
               Residents find bag systems convenient and easy to understand
               Lower implementation costs than can systems
               Faster, more efficient collections than cans
               Easy to monitor compliance
               Easy to adapt for bulky item collections
               Greater revenue uncertainly than subscription can systems
               Bags must be purchased and made available to residents in stores or municipal offices
               Staff time required for purchasing, storing, and selling bags in municipal offices
               Residents might find buying and storing bags inconvenient
               Often incompatible with automated/semiautomated equipment
               Animals can tear bags, and bags can tear during lifting

      Worksheet 4  (C
     System      Advantage/Disadvantage
    Tag or
Stronger waste reduction incentive than can systems
                    No billing system needed, so accounting costs lower
                    Residents find tag/sticker systems convenient and easy to understand
                    Lower implementation costs than can systems
                    Cost of purchasing tags/stickers is less than bags
                    Easily adapted for different size containers
                    Easily adapted for bulky item collections
                    Greater revenue uncertainty than subscription can systems
                    Tags/stickers must be purchased and made available to residents in stores or municipal
                    Staff time required for purchasing, storing, and selling tags/stickers in municipal offices
                    Residents might find buying and storing tags/stickers inconvenient
                    Municipality must communicate size limits to residents, and collection crews must monitor
                    size-limit compliance
                    Tags/stickers can fall off in rainy or cold weather or be stolen by other residents
     (Pay As
     You Go)
Residents have flexibility to set out as few or as many containers each week as needed
New cans may not be required if residents already own cans of roughly uniform volume
                    Cans are reusable and prevent animals from scattering waste
                    Cans can work with automated/semiautomated collection systems
                    Greater revenue uncertainty than subscription can systems
                    Smaller waste reduction incentive if large cans are used
                    Complex tracking and billing system needed to count set-outs at each stop and bill
                    Billing system creates lag time between collecting waste and receiving payment for the
                    Greater implementation costs if purchase, inventory, and distribution of cans is required
                    Collection time greater than with bag systems
                    Alternate system needed for collection of bulky items

Worksheet  4
Advantage/Disadvantage Importance
Revenues are stable and easy to forecast
Simplified collection process for collection crews
New cans ma/ not be required if residents already own cans of roughly uniform volume
Cans are reusable and prevent animals from scattering waste
Cans can work with automated/semiautomated collection systems
Reduced waste reduction incentive, since residents have no incentive to reduce waste
below their minimum service level
Complex tracking and billing system needed to track residents' subscription level and bill
Billing system creates lag time between collecting waste and receiving payment for the
Greater implementation costs if purchase, inventory, and distribution of cans is required
Collection time greater than with bag systems
Alternate system needed for collection of bulky items

      Worksheet 4
     Part   B
Choosing a Container and  Pricing System
   After  ranking the different system characteristics, review  your work to  see which system offers the most relevant
   advantages and the fewest disadvantages. If you are very concerned about revenue instability or uneven cash flow, consider
   whether you should use a two-tiered pricing system.
   Next,  go back to the prioritized list of program goals you created in Worksheet 1.  Consider which container and pricing
   system would best enable you to achieve your community's goals. If needed, use the table below to help you consider your
   options. List your program goals in the first column and consider the impact of each container/pricing system choice on
   the goals.
                                                  Container/Pricing Systems
(Pay As
You Go)
Reduce M5W as much
as possible
Minimize program costs
Achieve revenue stability

&ags tend to be
smaller, creating
& stronger waste
reduction incentive
Low accounting
costs, since no
billing system
Uneven cash flow

Tags/stickers for
smaller containers
create a strong
waste reduction
low accounting
costs, since no
billing system
Uneven cash flow

Cans tend to be
larger, reducmg
waste reduction
Billing system can
increase costs
Uneven cash flow

Cans tend to be
larger, reducing
waste reduction
Billing system can
increase costs
Steadier cash flow

flat fee in
combination with
variable rate
reduces waste
reduction incentive
Potential for
Steadier cash flow

   With the different system characteristics and your overall program goals in mind, make a preliminary container and pricing
   system choice and record it below.

   Container and pricing system:	

Use this worksheet to design a rate structure for your program. In Part A, estimate the amount of waste
you will be collecting under pay-as-you-throw.  In Part B, estimate your pay-as-you-throw program costs and the cost
of any complementary programs. Then, estimate the per-container price needed to meet your program's costs in
Part C.  Complete this worksheet by considering whether this price strikes the right balance between costs and revenues.
  Part  A
Waste Collection Forecast
Perform the following calculations  to  estimate  the amount of MSW that will be collected  from residents under your
pay-as-you-throw program.  Begin by estimating the amount of MSW collected in the year before program implementation (the
"base year"). Then, revise this figure to reflect MSW collections two years after program implementation (the "projection
year"). This is also called the steady-state, when residents' reductions in waste generation due to pay-as-you-throw have
    Current Waste Collection
   Tons of MSW collected in the base
 2.  Community Growth
  Tons of MSW per resident in the base
           year [from A-1]
                     Current number of community
                       residents in the base year
             Tons of MSW collected per resident
                     in the base year
                   Estimated number of residents in the
                           projection year
              Annual MSW tonnage expected in
                 the projection year without
 3. Waste Collection Under Pay-As-You-Throw
  100  -
             Percentage decrease in
             MSW expected under
                    MSW reduction
Annual MSW tonnage
  expected without
     [from A-2]
Annual MSW tonnage
   expected under
       Annual MSW tonnage expected under
                                                Tons of MSW expected per month under

      Worksheet 5  (Co
      Part  B
Program Costs
   In  this section,  estimate  your  monthly  MSW  curbside  collection  and  disposal  fixed  and variable  costs  under
   pay-as-you-throw in the projection year. Then estimate monthly fixed and variable costs for your new (or existing) recycling
   program in the projection year. Be sure to take into account your residents' reduced MSW set-outs when estimating costs.
   (For composting/yard waste collections or other complementary programs, copy this page and use it to estimate their
   costs.) If you contract out for some or all of these services, enter this cost under the "contractor fees" line. Combine these
   costs at the end of this section to estimate the total cost of pay-as-you-throw and any complementary programs.
     I.  Fixed  MSW Collection and Disposal Costs per Month
     Physical facilities (e.g., maintenance, mortgage, utilities)                               $.
     Salanes and benefits (labor costs that remain fixed regardless of quantity of MSW         $.
     Vehicle amortization                                                           $.
    Vehicle maintenance (vehicle maintenance costs that remain fixed regardless of quantity of  $
    MSW collected)
    Vehicle operating costs (vehicle operating costs that remain fixed regardless of quantity of   $
    MSW collected)
    Contractor fees (if any)                                                        $.
    Other fixed costs                                                              $.
    Total fixed MSW collection and disposal costs per month                  $
     2.  Variable MSW Collection and Disposal Costs per Month
    Salanes and benefits (labor costs that vary with amount of MSW collected)              $
    Vehicle maintenance (vehicle maintenance costs that vary with amount of MSW collected)  $
    Vehicle operating costs (vehicle operating costs that vary with amount of MSW collected)
    Contractor fees (if any)
    Tipping fees
    Other variable costs
    Total variable MSW collection and disposal costs per month
     3.  Total MSW Collection and Disposal Costs per Month
      Total monthly fixed MSW collection
             and disposal costs
                 [from B-JJ
                       Total monthly variable MSW
                       collection and disposal costs
                               [from ^2]
 Total monthly MSW collection and
disposal costs under pay-as-you-throw

  Worksheet  5
4.  Fixed Recycling Collection and Processing Costs per Month
Physical facilities (e.g., processing equipment amortization, utilities)
Salaries and benefits (labor costs that remain fixed regardless of quantity of recyclables     $.
Vehicle amortization costs                                                         $.
Vehicle maintenance costs (vehicle maintenance costs that remain fixed regardless of       $.
quantity of recyclables collected)
Vehicle operating costs (vehicle operating costs that remain fixed regardless of quantity of   $.
recyclables collected)
Contractor fees (if any)                                                           $.
Other fixed costs                                                                $.
Total fixed recycling costs per month                                        $.
5.  Variable Recycling Collection and Processing Costs per Month
Salaries and benefits (labor costs that vary with amount of recyclables collected)           $.
Vehicle maintenance costs (vehicle maintenance costs that vary with amount of recyclables   $.
Vehicle operating costs (vehicle operating costs that vary with amount of recyclables        $.
Equipment costs (e.g., baler, compactor, Bobcat operations) (equipment costs that vary     $.
with amount of recyclables collected)
Contractor fees (if any)                                                           $ .
Other variable costs                                                              $.
Total variable recycling costs per month                                     $.
6.  Total Recycling Collection and Processing Costs per Month
 Total fixed recycling costs per month
             [from B-4J
  Total monthly recycling costs under
     pay-as-you-throw [fromB-6]
  Total variable recycling costs per
        month [from B-5J
Net revenue from sale of recyclables
           per month
 Total monthly recycling costs under
Adjusted total monthly recycling costs
      under pay-as-you-throw
7. Total Cost of Pay-As-You-Throw and Complementary Programs
Total monthly MSW collection and disposal costs under pay-as-you-throw [from B-3]        $.
Adjusted total monthly recycling costs under pay-as-you-throw [from B-6]                 $.
Other monthly complementary program costs, if any                                  $.
Total monthly cost of pay-as-you-throw and complementary programs    $.

      Worksheet 5
     Part  C
Program Revenues
   Use this section to estimate the per-container price needed to meet your program's costs. If you plan to use more than
   one size container, estimate the  amount of waste you will collect in each size container per month (you might contact
   planners in pay-as-you-throw communities for help with this estimate). Then  perform the calculations in this section
   separately for each container. If you are uncertain about how to convert your container's capacity from volume to weight,
   refer to the report Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 1995 Update. You also might check with
   planners in other communities or weigh a random sampling of several filled containers and use the average weight for this
     I. Container Selection and Capacity
    Container selection:

    Volume of selected container:

    Convert container capacity to weight:
                                                      . (cans, bags, tags, or stickers)

                                                      . gallons
     2.  Estimated Per-Container Price
      Tons of MSW expected per month
       under pay-as-you-throw [from A-3J
           Total monthly cost of
     pay-as-you-throw and complementary
            programs [from B-7]
                      Weight per container in tons
                              [from C-1]
                    Number of containers expected per
Number of containers expected per
   Estimated price per container
     Part   D
Program  Balance
   At this point, you have developed a price per container that will help you cover your estimated costs. Remember, however.
   that your per-container price is based on program costs in the projection year (once your program has reached the
   steady-state). Prior to the projection year, you can expect greater waste collection amounts. This will result in greater
   revenues, but also greater costs. You might consult with planners in nearby pay-as-you-throw communities for data on
   whether their costs were greater or less  in the two  years before reaching the steady-state. If needed, adjust your
   per-container price to strike a balance between reasonable fees and covering your costs completely. Also consider whether
   your fee sends a strong enough waste reduction price signal to residents. Enter the revised per-container price below.

   Revised  price per container                                       $ 	

Use this worksheet to review the different potential pay-as-you-throw program implementation
activities and check off the relevant ones as they are completed.  This checklist is divided into three sec-
tions. All planners should use Section A, which contains a checklist of specific implementation activities suggested for
any pay-as-you-throw program. Then, select and use either Section B or C, depending on whether you plan on using
a bag- or tag-based systems or a can-based system.
  Part  A
All Container Systems
    D Draft and enact any necessary ordinances to charge a variable rate for waste collection.

    D Draft and enact any additional needed ordinances:

         O  Banning waste dumping and/or burning

         O Limiting container weights

         O Mandating recycling

         O Prohibiting unauthorized containers

    D Define enforcement responsibilities (work with the police and health department).

    D Reassign collection  and management staff as needed to new roles in outreach, enforcement, and

    D Prepare staff to address residents' concerns and questions.

    D Plan your education and outreach campaign.  Develop outreach materials and schedule briefings and

    D Consider working with the business community to ensure that they lock their dumpsters to prevent
       midnight dumping.

    D Develop and implement policies for accommodating low-income residents and physically handicapped and
       elderly residents.

    D Develop and implement policies for accommodating residents of multi-family units.

      Worksheet  6
       D Develop and test your rate structure and your budgeting and tracking systems.

       D Develop procedure for gathering and analyzing data on waste generation amounts and costs. Conduct
          baseline data collection.

       D Develop a phase-in strategy (e.g.. collect all wastes for several weeks, but leave "error tags" where
          needed to educate customers that only correctly paid and packaged trash will be collected in the future).
     Part  B
Bag- or Tag-Based Systems
       D  Determine weight limit for bags or size limit for trash that is tagged and the number of bags or tags to

       D  Identify vendors, develop specifications and RFPs, solicit bids, and purchase bags or tags.

       D  Plan and develop  a distribution network (e.g., using town offices or local retailers).

       D  If distributing through retailers, arrange distribution logistics (e.g., delivery and invoice schedule and
           marketing agreements). Assign and train staff as necessary.

       D  If distributing through municipal offices, develop and implement inventory management system.  Assign
           and train staff as necessary.

       D  Develop an education program informing residents how to participate (e.g., the location of bag or tag
           sales outlets and the procedures for bulky wastes).

       D  Develop and implement plans for bulky items, including pricing.

Worksheet 6
Part   C
Can-Based Systems
  D  Evaluate whether residents can use their own cans or if the town will supply cans.

  D  Determine the container size and number of cans to purchase.

  D  Identify vendors, develop specifications and RFPs, solicit bids, and purchase cans.

  D  If you have a subscription system, develop and provide information to residents that allows them to
     estimate their trash set-out and select a subscription level.

  D  If residents will use one large can, develop plans for extra waste (e.g., supplement with bags or tags).
     Purchase necessary items and educate residents.

  D  Develop and implement plans to distribute new cans (for new residents, replacements for stolen
     containers, or changes in service level for subscription can systems).

  D  Distribute containers and maintain an inventory of extra containers.

  D  Develop and implement billing system.

  D  Develop and implement plans for bulky items, including pricing.


Use this worksheet to monitor waste generation amounts and the amount of material recycled
and composted.  For the first year after program implementation, enter base year data in the first column and
data from the program's first year in the second. For monitoring the program after the first year, enter the previous
year's data followed by the current year being evaluated. This information can be tracked over time to demonstrate
the waste reduction impact of pay-as-you-throw and help inform decisions about potential changes in the program's
scope or structure.
  Part  A
Waste Collection Amounts
                                                  Base Year
                                                         Current Year
  Tons of MSW collected:
  Part  B
Recycling Amounts
  Tons of recyclables collected:  Glass

                          High-Grade Paper

                          Mixed Paper

                          Corrugated Cardboard




  Total tons of recyclables collected:

     Worksheet  7
     Part  C
Composting Amounts
                                                       Base Year
                                                           Current Year
     Tons of organic materials collected for composting:
     Part  D
     Tracking the costs incurred and the revenues recovered under pay-as-vou-throw is an important process.  At least
     once a year, refer back to Worksheet 5,"Rate Structure Design," and re-calculate program costs and revenues. This
     information can be used to evaluate the program's economic sustainability on an ongoing basis. It also can be used
     to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the program to elected officials or planners from other communities inter-
     ested in pay-as-you-throw.

Articles   and   Newsclippings
                 Within the last several years, pay-as-you-throw has
                 begun to receive increasing attention in the print
                 media. A variety of solid waste management publica-
                 tions and newspapers serving communities with pay-
     as-you-throw have published articles about these programs. This
     section includes a few samples of recent coverage of pay-as-you-
     throw, including an article reviewing six communities with successful
     programs, an examination of unit pricing in rural and urban settings,
     and an article presenting strategies for overcoming potential barriers
     to pay-as-you-throw.
     In addition to providing you with useful background information on
     pay-as-you-throw, this section can assist in organizing any articles
     about your community's program that appear in print. Over the
     course of implementing pay-as-you-throw in your community, it is
     likely that the program will be covered in your local media. (See Sec-
     tion Two, Public Outreach  Materials, for ideas on how to encourage
     positive coverage by the media.) It might be helpful to keep track of
     this coverage.
     As articles about your program appear, you can three-hole punch
     the clippings and add them to this section for later reference. This
     will  help you gauge the effectiveness of your overall outreach and
     education effort and, in particular, the impact of your outreach to
     the media. In addition, tracking local press coverage can help you
     identify areas or issues on which you may need to focus greater
     attention. It also can provide you with another measure of success,
     an important resource you might use when asked about your pro-
     gram's performance.

     After stoning recycling, composting, and public education programs, are waste generation rates
     and MSW management costs still high? Give residents an economic incentive to reduce waste.
             ys say that each week your crews
             1 collecting newspaper, glass, alu-
             num,  steel, and plastics at the
             bside for recycling. You're also
             leering brush and leaves forcom-
     posting. Households are doing their part,
     and the amount of waste you're disposing
     ofisdecreasing—but not as much as you'd
     like. Tipping fees are still high, and you' re
     having a hard time covering the costs of
     providing  service. What alternatives do
     you have?
        One option is to consider a "unit pric-
     ing" program,  also called "pay-as-you-
     throw" or "variable rate pricing." Unit pric-
     ing is a fee-for-service  system  in which
     residents pay for MSW management ser-

     M ••
vices per unit of waste collected rather than
through taxes or a fixed fee. The system
creates a direct economic incenti ve for peo-
ple to prevent waste generation, to recycle,
and to compost. With such a system some
communities have seen significant decreas-
es in waste disposal  and increases in the
amount of material recycled.
   These advantages are only part of the
story. In addition to helping achieve waste
reductions (and cost savings), by encour-
aging residents to think about waste gen-
eration, unit pricing often leads to a greater
understanding of environmental  issues in
general. Residents also tend to welcome unit
pricing, viewing it as a more equitable way
to pay for solid waste services than tradi-
tional flat fees, which, in effect, require
households that reduce and recycle to sub-
sidize their more wasteful neighbors.
   All sizes and types of communities can
realize benefits through unit pricing pro-
grams. These  programs  also work well
whether solid waste services are carried out
by municipal or private haulers.

Setting the Stage
The first step is to establish the groundwork
for unit pricing. Adopting  an effective pro-
gram requires making a series of decisions
about how to best  offer a variable rate to
residents. To be sure you are making the
right decisions, organize a team or council
that can determine the goals of your pro-

                        Mvch/April 1995
Reprinted with permission from March/April 1995 MSW Management © Forester Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.


 gram and how to achieve them.
    Establish an advisory team. A unit pric-
 ing team typically consists of solid waste
 staff, interested elected officials, civic lead-
 en, and representatives from affected busi-
 nesses in the community. Including these
 individuals in the planning process gives
 the community a sense of program owner-
 ship. Team members can help other resi-
 dents in the community understand the
 specifics of the program as it evolves, and
 can provide your agency  with valuable
 input on residents' concerns about the pro-
 gram. In addition, members of the team can
 serve as a sounding board to help ensure
 strong community participation throughout
 the planning process.
    Set goals. Determine the goals  of the
 program based on a review of your com-
 munity's needs and concerns. Specific
 goals can include encouraging waste pre-
 vention and recycling, raising sufficient
 revenue to cover MS W management costs,
 and subsidizing other community pro-
 grams. Once you've come up with a list
 of preliminary goals, the team can help
 refine and prioritize them.
    Consider legal/jurisdictional issues.
 Generally, stales extend to local jurisdic-
 tions the authority to provide waste man-
 agement services and to charge residents
 accordingly. Taking the time to determine
 if this is the case in your state, however, is
 better than risking discovery of it during
    Involve  and educate the public.  The
 experiences of  communities that have
 implemented unit pricing programs indi-
 cate that a good public relations program
 more than pays for itself. Public education
 can combat fears and myths about unit pric-
 ing (such as the fear of increased  illegal
 dumping), and can help avoid or mitigate
 many potential implementation problems.
 It is critical to devise ways to involve and
 educate the community during the planning
 process, including holding public  meet-
 ings, preparing briefing papers for elected
 officials, issuing press releases, and encour-
 aging retailers to display posters and other
 information about the program.
    To help organize some of these  activi-
 ties. consider developing a timeline or
 schedule. Planning for unit pricing should
 begin at least a year in advance of your tar-
 geted start date. Begin explaining the pro-
 gram and  its goals to the community
 between 9 and 12 months before program
 implementation. Public education should
 continue throughout the months prior to the
 start of the program and. to Mffle extent,
 after the program is under way. Identify the
 legal framework for the program at least
 six months before the start of U» program.
   Drafting a blueprint. The next step is to
determine the features of your program.
Designing a working program requires that
you consider and decide on a range of spe-
cific issues. The process of selecting pro-
gram components and service options can
begin as much as nine months before the
start of your program.

Volume-Based versus Weight-Based
One of the first decisions to be made when
designing a unit pricing program is to deter-
mine how solid waste will be measured.
Under volume-based systems, residents are
charged for waste collection based on the
number and size of waste containers that
Weight-based systems
offer a  greater waste
reduction  incentive,
since  every  pound  of
waste  that  residents
prevent, recycle,  or
compost   results  in
direct savings
they use. Under weight-based systems, the
hauler weighs at the curbside the waste that
residents set out for collection. Households   gal. in capacity, are used. Residents pur-
are then billed based on the pounds of tmsb   chase me bags from the solid waste age n
nel often are required to manage the billing
system. Most of the unit pricing experience
and data come from volume-based pro-
grams. Many of the design and implemen-
tation issues presented below, however,
apply to both of these systems.

Containers, Rate Structures & Billing
Communities that decide to design a vol-
ume-based program must consider the type
and size of waste collection containers on
which to base their rate structure and billing
system. A program can be based around
large cans, small or variable cans, prepaid
bags, or prepaid tags or stickers. Each sys-
tem has its own specific advantages and dis-
advantages related to such issues as offer-
ing a system that residents view as equitable,
creating as direct an economic incentive for
waste reduction as possible, and assuring
revenue stability for the agency.
   Large cans. Households are provided
with single, large cans, which are typical-
ly 50 to 60 gallons in capacity. Each house-
hold is then charged according to the num-
ber of cans it uses. The primary benefit of
offering a single container size is revenue
stability. The waste .reduction incentive is
somewhat diluted, however, since house-
holds pay the same amount whether they
fill their container halfway or completely.
   Small or variable cans. Communities
also could provide households with grad-
uated can sizes, typically ranging from 20
to 90 gal. in capacity. Such systems allow
residents to real i ze savings from even mod-
est reductions in waste generation. Track-
ing the amount of waste generated and
charging households accordingly can be
more complicated.
   Prepaid bags. Standard-sized, distinc-
tively marked  trash bags, often 20 or 30
generated. Weight-based sysjews offer a
greater waste reductiq»*iBcentive, since
every pound of wanethat residents prevent.
recycle, or compost results in direct sav-
ings,. Residents can easily understand this
kind of system, and the system itself is
more precise. In addition, under a
based program, residents are not tempted
to compact their waste, which can occur
with volume-based systems.
   On the other hand, weight-based system*
typically are more expensive to implement
and operate than volume-based systems. To
operate a weight-based system, communi-
ties often need to use specialized collec-
tion trucks with on-board scales to weigh
and record the weight of the waste from
each household. A computerized system for
charging residents also is needed, and more
solid waste administrative agency person-
cy through such outlets as municipal offices
and retail stores. Bag systemsare less expen-
sive to implement and maintain, since there
is no tracking and billing required. Since
residents might buy large numbers of bags
   then none for an extended period, rev
enue fluctuations may occur.
  Prepaid tags or stickers. Tags Of stick-
ers specifying certain bag sizes can be sold
to residents through municipal offices or
retail stores. These systems offer many of
the same advantages as bag-based systems.
  In addition to container choices, MSW
planners need to decide on the rate or pric-
ing structure. There are four basic rate struc-
tures: proportional (linear), variable <
tainer, two-tiered, and multi-tiered. I
and container choices are closely related.
The types of containers selected of ten dic-
tate the rate structure and billing system I
  « • MM

use. In other cases, an existing billing sys-
tem that cannot be overhauled could gov-
ern container type and rate structure.
   A proportional (linear) rate system, the
simplest rate structure, entails charging
households a flat price for each container
of waste they place out for collection. A
variable container rate can be used by com-
munities interested in offering a greater
waste  reduction incentive to residents.
Under this system, communities charge
varying rates for different size containers.
   Communities also might opt for a two-
tiered rate structure under which households
are assessed both a fixed fee and a per-con-
tainer fee. The fixed fee helps ensure that
revenues will never drop below a certain
Linking recycling and com-
posting with unit pricing
lets  communities recover
these  expenses  without
creating  economic  disin-
centives to recycle
    Mowand mc*e communities ore hying to find
 new and better ways to manage theii MSW in
 response to (odors such os mcwasing waste gen-
 eration and tipping fees. EPA recognizes that in
 mis climate waste prevention will ploy an increas-
 ingly important role For some communities, charg-
 i ng a variable rate fo< waste collection con be a
 wise strategy.
    To help communities learn whether unit pric-
 ing might work lor them, EPA organized the Unit
 Pricing Roundtable, a gathering of experts and
 representatives (torn communities with wriobie tale
 programs in place. EPA then organized Ate wealth
 of information resulting from the meeting's dis-
 cussions into a 90-poge guide.
    PcyAs-ybu-rhrow. lessons loomed About Unit
 Pricing (0^30*94-004) provides detailed
 technical information on unit pacing based on the
 experiences of communities with variable role pro-
 grams in place, The free manual can be ordered
 directly from EPA by colling the RC8A Hotline at
 (800| 424-9346 or by writing to USEPA, RCRA
 irAxinata Center 15305), 401 M Street S.W,
 Washington, DC 20460.
 level, while the per-container fee provides
 a strong waste reduction incentive. This rate
 structure is the most complex and, there-
 fore, is difficult to administer and bill.
   Designing a unit pricing program also
 requires  that a community choose from
 among three typesof billing systems: direct
 payment, subscription, and actual set-out
 systems. Direct payment systems typical-
 ly are used with bag-, tag-, or sticker-based
 programs. Residents pay for MSW services
 by purchasing bags, tags, or stickers from
 the solid waste agency. They are then
 affixed to containerized waste placed out
 for collection. Under subscription systems,
 residents select in advance a specific sub-
 scription level (the number of containers
 they anticipate setting out each collection
 cycle). The customer is then billed on a reg-
 ular basis for these containers. If customers
 are able to reduce the amount of waste they
 generate, they can select a lower subscrip-
 tion level and save money. Under an actu-
 al set-out system, the solid waste agency
 bills customers based on the actual num-
 ber of containers set out for collection.

 Choosing Important Services
 The next step in planning a unit pricing pro-
 gram is to determine which solid waste ser-
 vices are most important to residents.  A
 carefully selected and priced service array
 allows a community to offer the different
 waste collection services that residents feel
 are important,  while generating sufficient
 revenues to support core services.
   Some services can contribute signifi-
 cantly to the overall effectiveness of unit
 pricing. Recycling and collection of yard
 trimmings for composting enhance the pro-
 gram's waste reduction goals. Linking recy-
 cling and composting with unit pricing pro-
 vides residents with  an environmentally
 responsible way to manage waste. In addi-
 tion, since the  cost of these  programs can
 be built into unit pncinj^b, communi-
 ties can recover these expenses  without
creating economic disincentives to recycle,
   Other services are viewed as important
conveniences, or even necessities, by some
residents. Incorporating them  ruff-add-irf
enthusiasm for your new program.  For
example, backyard collection of waste
and/or recycl ables can be an important ser-
vice for elderly or disabled residents. Back-
yard collections also can beoltcredtoiHher
residemsatahighercost to reflect the added
service resource!) required.

Special Collection Needs
One of the biggest challenges facing com-
munities implementing unit pricing is how
to include multi-family (five units or more)
residential structures in the program.
 Because waste often is collected from res-
 idents of multi-family structures on a per
 building rather than per unit basis, offer-
 ing these residents a direct economic incen-
 tive to reduce waste with unit pricing may
 be difficult. One way to resolve multi-fam-
 ily challenges is to have the building man-
 ager  sell bags  or  tags to each resident.
 Another approach is to modify the system
 of setting out waste for collection in multi-
 family buildings so that only waste that has
 been paid for can be left for col lection. Sys-
 tems  that employ technological solutions.
 such  as using  magnetic cards to open
 garbage chutes, usually are expensive.
   Many communities  considering unit
 pricing  are concerned about ensuring that
 the waste reduction incentives of unit pric-
 ing can be brought to residents living  on
 fixed or low incomes. Communities may
 wish to consider providing assistance to res-
 idents with special financial needs by reduc-
 ing the per-household  waste collection
 charges by a set amount, offering a per-
 centage discount, or providing a credit  on
 the overall  bill. Assistance also  can  be
 offered  through existing low-income pro-
 grams, particularly other utilities' efforts.

 Launching the Program
 There are two distinct schools of thought
 about the timing of implementation. One
 maintains that unit pricing should be imple-
 mented  within a brief period of time. The
 other believes that households respond bet-
 ter when asked to make changes in small,
 manageable  increments over time.
   Regardless of your schedule of imple-
 mentation, a number of tasks need to  be
 performed. They include educating the pub-
 lic about the newMrcram and organizing
 your solid waste agency to he able to effec-
 tively administer the new program Other
 common tasks include establishing legal
 authority for charging a direct variable fee
 for waste  collection  services, procuring
 containers, designing and launching com-
 plementary programs, and ensuring en-
 forcement (including developing ways  of
 preventing illegal dumping),
  Once your program is under way, begin
 the process of monitoring and data collec-
 tion. Data collecting will help you deter-  s
 mine  how successful  the program  is. Jusi
 as ii will take some time for residents to get
 used to paying a variable rale lor their trash,
 your  program  itself  will necessarily go
 through an adjustment period. Staying on
 lop of'its problems and progress will allow
you to make needed changes quickly, help-
 ing to ensure an effective program.
Guest author Michael Shapiro is director of
Office of Solid Waste. EPA,

                                         TRASHTAG PROGRAM
   Since the program
   began, 51 percent
   of county
   surveyed recycle
   more, 15 percent
   compost more,
   and almost 40
   percent pay more
   attention to

         Sarah Stone
      and Ellen Harrison
A          TRASHTAG program was im-
          plemented in Tomkins County,
          New York in March, 1990, re-
          quiring residents to purchase
          a tag for each container of
          garbage put out for collection.
          The user fee program is one
part of an overall waste reduction effort dur-
ing the last two years in the county  (pop.
94,000). Other aspects include curbside
pickup of recyclables, a central recycling/
trash baling processing facility, a home com-
posting program, and a yard waste  com-
posting program.
  The trashtag and curbside recycling pro-
grams are designed to work together, with
the trashtag program creating economic in-
centive for people to reduce their household
waste while the recycling program provides
a convenient method for people to do so. An
extensive educational effort which included
working with citizens, municipal govern-
ments, and waste haulers, was another vital
part of this strategy.
  Before the trashtag program was adopted,
waste disposal costs were embedded in prop-
erty taxes. Because of this institutional frame-
work, some of the big users of the county's
landfill, including Cornell University and
Ithaca College, did not have to pay for waste
disposal due to their tax exempt status.  Fur-
thermore, it was believed that a direct charge
for waste disposal would create an incentive
for households to recycle and to reduce the
amount of garbage they produce. Using prop-
erty taxes to handle disposal costs created no
such incentive since the cost was essentially
  The trashtag program is a cooperative effort
between private haulers, municipal haulers,
and the county. Tags are sold by both munici-
pal and private haulers. Each can add admin-
istrative and collection fees to the county's per
tag charge. While some opted to incorporate all
their fees into the teg, others have chosen to
make these two separate charges.
  Tags are weight based. A large tag," which
allows for the coDection of up to 30 pounds of
trash costs $1.08 each. A "small tag," costing
$.62 can be used for up to 15 pounds. The coun-
ty also developed a subsidy program for low in-
come families that provides each eligible per-
son  12 tegs per year.
   Last year the County's Solid Waste Man-
agement Division, in cooperation with the Cor-
nell Waste Management Institute and Cor-
nell's Department of Consumer Economics &
Housing, conducted a survey of Tompkins
County residents to determine how they felt
about the trashtag and recycling programs.
The objectives of the survey included an as-
sessment of attitudes about how future in-
creases in waste disposal should be handled,
determining the public's attitude concerning
trashtags and the recycling programs, and
whether behavior has changed as a result of
the trashtag program.
  The survey was sent to a random sample of
3,034 Tompkins County residents in Septem-
ber of 1990. Those who didnt respond to the
first mailing were sent a second survey. The
overall response rate was approximately 49
percent The final sample obtained compared
favorably with the known population of Tomp-
kins County both in terms of geographic dis-
tribution and demographic characteristics.
  The results of the survey indicate that re-
spondents not only feel that the trashtag pro-
gram is the best of possible alternatives in
terms of paying for waste disposal, but that
the trashtag program has also aided other
waste reduction behavior.

  Overall, respondents indicated that they felt
favorably towards the trashtag program. Six-
ty-three percent  said that they are very much
in favor or somewhat in favor of the trashtag
program, 15 percent somewhat oppose the pro-
gram, 11 percent oppose the program, and the
rest either didn't care one way or the other (8
percent), weren't aware of the program (1 per-
cent) or didnt respond to the question (3 per-
  Since it is expected that waste disposal costs
will increase  in the future, residents were
asked how  they would like to see these in-
creases handled. The largest percentage of re-
spondents felt they would like to see increases
in waste disposal costs handled through high-
er trashtag fees (48 percent). This was fol-
lowed by higher flat rate fees paid to waste
haulers (18  percent), higher property taxes (9
percent), higher sales tax (8 percent), and
higher income tax (4 percent). Fifteen percent
Reprinted with permission from BioCycle For sample copy of publication, contact BioCycle, Journal of Composting and Recycling, 419 State Avenue, Emmaus, PA


   of the respondents chose not to answer this
     One of the key questions in volume or
   weight-based fees is how it affects household
   waste reduction behaviors, such as recycling,
   composting, and precycling? Nearly 51 percent
   of the respondents claim to recycle more since
   the trashtag program began, 16 percent claim
   to compost more and nearly 39 percent believe
   they pay more attention to product packaging
   when they shop since the trashtag program

     The Tompkms County recycling programs

   certain towns and villages, or drop off centers
   for recyclable materials. Full County-wide
   curbside collection will be implemented this
   summer. Nearly sixty percent of the respon-
   dents use the curbside service, whether once a
   week (26.7 percent), once every two weeks
   (17.6 percent), or less frequently (14.5 per-
   cent). Almost seventeen percent of the respon-
   dents bring all of their recyclables to a dropoff
   center, while almost 32 percent bring some of
   their recyclables to a dropoff center.
     This final figure has some overlap between
   those who use the curbside service and those
   who use a  dropoff center. This may be due to
   the fact that curbside pickup in most  areas
   does not include the collection of plastic or
   cardboard. Therefore, some respondents may
   use curbside for glass, newspaper, and metal
   cans while using a dropoff center for plastic
   and cardboard.
     Table 1  shows the high recycling rates in
   Tompkins County, as well as the impact that
   the trashtag program has had on recycling
   rates for each material. Overall, less than half
   of the sample claims to recycle the same
   amount of garbage (40.2 percent), while about
   half (51.2 percent) claim to recycle more.
     The questionnaire also tried to identify rea-
   sons why some don't recycle.  Almost 28 per-
   cent of the respondents have storage space for
   recyclables but still find it inconvenient. Al-
   most 19 percent said that they do not have
   enough space for recyclables. Three percent of
   the respondents said that they don't bring any
   recyclables to a dropoff center because they
   dont have transportation.
     Beyond  the  recycling program, another
   means of reducing the amount of trash set out
   is composting. Based on the survey, after the
   trashtag system was put in place 47.2 percent
   of the respondents composted, versus 39.6 per-
   cent prior to it. Approximately 15.5 percent
   claim to compost more now than before the
   program was put into effect. About 96 percent
   of all respondents that compost do so at home.

     According to the study, citizens claim  to be
   placing more emphasis on buying products
   with less packaging. When asked if they try to
   reduce the  amount of household garbage by
   buying products with less packaging, 31.5 per-
   cent said "yes" and 44 8 percent indicated they
   did so occasionally. Only 22.7 percent said
   "no" Additionally, 38 9 percent claim to pay
  Table 1. County Recycling Kates
Metal cans
 Do you recycle?
 Did you recycle (before the trashtag program)?
 Yes             556%        44.9%
 No             42 8%        54 0%
Do you recycle (since the trashtag program)?
More 250% 359%
Less 2 0% 9%
Same 531% 435%
Dont recycle 180% 180%
 more attention to packaging.
   The percentage of people who responded af-
 firmatively to trying to reduce their household
 waste by reducing the amount of packaging is
 very high: 76.3 percent answered "yes" or "oc-
 casionally" to this question, while almost 40
 percent of the respondents claim to pay more
 attention to packaging since the trashtag pro-
 gram went into effect.
   Beyond these methods of reducing the
 amount of material,  25.2 percent of the re-
 spondents identified additional ways of reduc-
 ing household garbage. Among the more pop-
 ular were reusing containers, using cloth
 grocery bags, buying bulk foods, stopping junk
 mail, sharing magazine and newspaper sub-
 scriptions and giving away unwanted items.

   The results of the survey were positive and
 should encourage other municipalities to
 adopt user fees. Respondents seem interested
 and willing to participate in the county's ef-
 forts to reduce the waste stream  Fifty one per-
 cent claim to recycle more since the trashtag
 program, 15 percent compost more and ap-
 proximately 39 percent pay more attention to
 product packaging since the trashtag pro-
 gram. Additionally, residents favor user fees
 over alternative  methods of handling waste
 disposal costs. The enthusiasm was even more
 evident in the write-in sections of the ques-
 tionnaire where many respondents voiced
 support for the county's programs. Many re-
 spondents also expressed their willingness to
 do even more in terms of waste reduction if
 they knew how.                       •

 Sarah Stone recently completed her graduate
 work at Cornell University's Department of Con-
 sumer Economics and Housing. Ellen Harrison is
Associate Director of Cornell's Waste Manage-
 ment Institute. The authors would like to ac-
knowledge the contribution and assistance of
Barbara Eckstrom and Susan LaBarre of Tomp-
kins County Solid Waste Management Division
and Jeanne Hogarth and Jim Reshovsky, both
Assistant Professors, Consumer Economic and
Housing, Cornell University, in putting this arti-
cle together.
                             Residents say the
                             trashtag program is
                             the best way to pay
                             for waste disposal,
                             and that it has also
                             aided other waste
                             reduction behavior.
                                                                                                    AUGUST 1991    59

               T       R        E
                                      D       S
                          collection, legislation, international, recycling and technology

 Program  Succeeds
  In Urban Setting

  Worcester, Mass., officials were
uncertain If a volume-based collec-
tion program combined with curb-
side recycling could work in  a
large, urban area with a diverse
population. Undaunted, they de-
cided to try.
  With 170,000 residents, Worces-
ter is the second largest city In New
England. The population of this
central Massachusetts community
encompasses all socio-economic
backgrounds. Housing is equally
divided between single- and multi-
family dwellings.
  Until July 1993, the property
tax funded approximately 50
percent of the city's municipal
solid waste (MSW) collection
and disposal services. How-
ever, the Department of Pub-
lic Works (DPW) competed
with the school, police and
fire departments for limited
funds. After repeated  cuts
in its tax levy budget, DPW
decided to evaluate alter-
native collection and dis-
posal options rather than
decrease its services.
  Worcester officials con-
sidered a flat user fee
and volume-based collec-
tion. The flat fee was  dis-
missed because it requires all
users to pay an equal amount,
regardless of the amount of
waste generated. In addition,
flat fees offered no incentive
to participate in recycling.
Instead. Worcester opted for
a curbside recycling  pro-
gram with a fee  requiring
residents to purchase spe-
cific bags for refuse dis-
  Bright yellow bags
priced at 50 cents each,
have been printed with
the program's logo "Pay
a Little, Save a  Lot."
The bags are sold at
115 retail outlets. DPW
also developed an exten-
                                         sive public education and aware-
                                         ness campaign  including bro-
                                         chures In three languages, newspa-
                                         per, radio and airplane adver-
                                         tisements, bumper stickers, bill-
                                         boards and radio talk shows.
                                          Enforcement methods to encour-
                                         age compliance and to avoid Illegal
                                         disposal Include fines and two noti-
                                         fication stickers. The first, a bright
                                         orange "warning" sticker, Is placed
                                         on non-program bags and informs

                                        ^	    ;            ,     	__
                                        Worcester, Mass., Solid Waste
                                          And Recycling Collection
Average Tons Per Week
                                    Tons Per

                                    Collection Crew Employee*

                                    Pounds Collected
                                    Per Employee
   Of Collection And
 isposal Per Household*

Bulk Waste Collection
       Number Of Pickups
                                   •Based on 49,000 Households.

                                        Gty Of Worcester Department Of ft/Mfc
residents of the new. official bags.
Residents are allowed 24 hours to
remove the bag and must comply
with the program by the following
week. The second sticker is placed
on bags that weigh more than 30
pounds or contain recyclables
mixed with refuse. If residents fall
to respond to these stickers. DPW
enacts a progressive fining system
starting at $25 and increasing to
  Since late 1993. the program has
effectively reduced the amount of
MSW sent to  landfills (see table).
For example, solid waste tonnages
have declined nearly 45 percent.
The city's recycling rate Is slightly
more than 37 percent and has re-
mained at that level during most of
the program. When yard wastes are
Included, -Worcester diverts more
than 50 percent of its solid  waste
 to recycling and composting.
     Program compliance among
   the 50.000 participating house-
    holds has been  99.9 percent.
     allowing the city to reduce the
     amount of MSW collected and
     Incinerated by  more than 40
      million pounds. With less
      trash on the  curb for city
      crews  to collect, the DPW
       has reduced its collection
        crews by 33 percent. Two-
         person crews, rather than
         the  previous three, now
         collect garbage on the
         city's 11 routes. Savings
         from the reduced crew
         sizes  and tipping fee
         costs have allowed the
         department to re-allo-
          cate more than $1 mil-
          lion to  other public
           works programs.
              In addition, a free
            bulk and hazardous
            waste collection day
           has been re-institut-
           ed. Public response to
   these services has been positive
   and, as a result. Illegal dumping
   has been reduced.
     The program has been  modi-
   fied further for public conve-
   nience. For example,  small re-
    cycling bins with handles were
     introduced for those residents
     who find the large recycling
     bins too  cumbersome.  Small
Reprinted with permission from World Wastes, copyright Intertec Publishing Corp., A K-III Media Company, May 1996

                                          T  R  E
                    D  S
      half-size trash bags also are avail-
      able for residents who do not fill a
      30-gallon bag on a weekly basis.
       The results of Worcester's solid
      waste program have shown officials
      that volume-based programs can
      succeed In an urban area.
                 — Robert L. Moylon Jr.
                       Worcester DPW
      Congress Attempts
           To Stem The
       Tide Off Mew Regs

       The new Congress seems bent on
      fundamentally changing the degree
      to which federal regulations affect
      businesses and consumers.
       Three types of reform proposals
      are under way: shutting the door
      on new federal regulations: limiting
      federally-imposed unfunded man-
      dates on state  and local govern-
      ments: and scrutinizing  the eco-
      nomic costs and benefits of pro-
      posed laws and regulations.
  The House-passed moratorium
on new regulations would likely be
difficult to enforce — even if the
Senate went along with the House
bill. At press time, a Senate com-
mittee had approved Its own rule-
blocking bill. The Senate version is
somewhat more moderate than the
moratorium passed by the House.
For example, it would exempt all
regulations that cost the economy
less than $100 million a year.
  Even when Republican appoin-
tees controlled federal agencies, it
seemed  that nothing could stem
the tide of new regulations. Pres-
ident Bush ordered a 90-day mora-
torium during which agencies were
supposed  to find ways to stream-
line and improve their output. De-
spite several promising concepts
that emerged from the exercise, the
overall nature and number of regu-
lations were unaffected.
  A Congresstonally-mandated halt
to regulations, which the Executive
Branch  uses to implement Con-
gress's laws, cannot promise better
results than a moratorium dictated
by the President himself. Indeed.
the conservative House majority
that voted for the moratorium also
created a sizable loophole. Any a-
gency would be able to issue a reg-
ulation in response to an "immi-
nent threat to health and safety.*
  One branch of Congress Is now
In the awkward (not to mention le-
gally suspect) position of telling the
Executive Branch not to cany out
Its constitutional function: imple-
menting the laws that Congress
passes. A more direct — and obvi-
ous — solution would be to change
the laws themselves.
  Of course, the 104th Congress
will say that  it can't be blamed for
the "sins" of previous  Democrat-
dominated legislative sessions. Put-
ting the brakes on the Executive
Branch, as the current leadership
might argue.  Is making the best of
a bad  situation. Still, the regulatory
reform measures in the works are
likely to have ..very significant Im-
  For  its part,> the House has clear-
ly stated that it wants to slow the

                                      CURBSIDE COLLECTION
            VARIABLE curbside disposal
            fees have received increasing
            attention as a means to fund
            refuse services while promoting
            waste reduction and recycling.
            Variable fees — also referred to
            as variable can rates or bag-
   and-tag fee systems — are assessed direct-
   ly on users and reflect, to some degree, the
   cost of service. They contrast with fixed fees
   and tax-based systems, where the customer
   sees no direct financial incentive to mini-
   mize the level of service.
     To more fully understand the use and
   extent of variable curbside disposal fees,
   R.W. Beck and Associates conducted a
   survey in 1993 of 80 cities and counties
   nationwide. The survey used a random
   sample of 40 large cities and counties (pop-
   ulations greater than 100,000) and 40 medi-
   um-sized communities (populations from
   50,000 to 100,000).
     In 68 percent of cities surveyed, a public
   or governmental authority is responsible for
   residential solid waste collection, with the
   remaining 32 percent  served by private
   haulers. Household refuse pickup is usually
   provided weekly (for 91 percent of those sur-
   veyed) and waste collection containers are
   furnished in 44 percent of the communities.
     Pees for disposal are  charged in 65 per-
   cent of the communities; 35 percent use
   property taxes or other indirect means. One
   quarter of the cities with fees — 13 commu-
   nities, or 16 percent of those surveyed — re-
   port some type of variable disposal fee  fin-
   residential households in 1992.
     Funding for recycling and  yard trim-
   mings programs also were explored. Recy-
   cling programs for residential  households
   were reported in 80 percent of the commu-
   nities, and of these, more than 80 percent
   indicated that curbside collection services
   are provided. Yard trimmings programs
   were reported by 46 percent of the commu-
   nities, and about 80  percent of those
   included curbside service. Large cities gen-
   erally report having a recycling and yard
   trimmings program; nearly 90 percent offer
   some form of recycling. Medium-sized cities
   were less likely to have each of these
   services; only 70 percent provide recycling
    Less than 18 percent of the municipali-
   ties surveyed indicated  that they charge a
   specific fee for collection of recyclables, and

Six case studies
provide a good
overview of what
happens when
variable fees  are
in place for at
least one year.

    Richard Cuthbert
less than 13 percent reported a fee for yard
trimmings service. Large cities are twice as
likely to charge for recycling services as
medium-sized cities, but were only half as
likely to charge for yard trimmings collec-
tion. Additionally, six communities (eight
percent) report some form of financial re-
bate for participation in a recycling pro-
gram and three communities (four percent)
reported a rebate for participation in their
yard trimmings program. The rebates may
come as a surprise because in most cases,
programs cost more than can be offset by
revenues from the sale of collected materi-
als, at least in the short run.
  Each of the communities was asked what
factors influenced its decision to implement
recycling and yard trimmings programs. A
legislative mandate was reported by 80 per-
cent of those surveyed while local interest or
disposal problems were cited by 36 percent.
  Measuring the effectiveness of variable
curbside disposal fees in promoting waste
reduction is complicated by the difficulty of
isolating the specific role of the collection
and disposal fee from the other elements of
waste reduction programs, as well as  from
other elements of the economy in general.
In addition, many communities do not have
adequate disposal date, either for their cur-
rent situation or for the time before the im-
plementation of waste reduction programs.
A scientifically rigorous analysis of the
causes of solid waste reduction would be
time-consuming, costly and, in the end, per-
haps impossible. Thus, only anecdotal in-
formation on the effectiveness of variable
curbside disposal feesjs available. The fol-
lowing six case studies provide a good
overview of what  happens when variable
fees are in place for at least one year.

  In Portland, 61 independent collection
companies provide residential disposal ser-
vices; most have had variable can  rate
structures in effect for more than 10 years.
Before  February, 1992,  residential collec-
tion rates and service territories were un-
regulated. A new franchise system provides
for mandatory variable curbside rates,
weekly recycling services on the same day
as garbage services and recycling contain-
ers. In 1987, monthly curbside residential
recycling collection was  implemented
throughout the city, and in early 1992 this

                         MAY 1994   63
Reprinted with permission from BioCycle For sample copy of publication, contact BioCycle, Journal of Composting and Recycling, 419 State Avenue, Emmaus, PA
18049 610-967-4135


  Seattle estimates
  that a 10 percent
  increase in charges
  for residential
  collection and
  disposal results in
  an approximately
  two percent
  reduction in overall
  solid waste
service was increased to weekly recycling
curbside collection. The city also imple-
mented  monthly curbside yard trimmings
collection in April, 1992.
  During the last 10 years, landfill dispos-
al costs in the Portland area rose from
$17/ton  to $75/ton. In response to this in-
crease, collection rates for single can service
more than doubled,  from  approximately
$7.50/month to $17.50/month. In early
1992, a  rate increase of about 25 percent
was implemented in conjunction with new
recycling services, including a less expen-
sive 20 gallon mini-can service level. Eigh-
teen percent of residents chose  the mini-
can. As a combined  result of the higher
collection fees and availability of recycling
services, Portland residents increased their
recycling levels from 740 tons/month in
1988 to  2,583 tons/month in 1992 — more
than tripling the recycling tonnages  over
five years.

  Seattle has had variable curbside collec-
tion rates since 1981.  Before that, residents
paid a fixed  fee charge for unlimited solid
waste disposal. Both the structure and level
of the city's rates changed numerous times
between 1981 and 1992, with the cost of sin-
gle can  service more than  doubling from
$6.40 in 1981 to $14.98 in  1992. Between
1985 and 1987, rates increased by 82 per-
cent as the city sought to cover the costs in-
curred from  closing its landfills. Subscrip-
tion levels for single-can service rose from
approximately 18 percent of the city's house-
holds in 1981 to almost 65 percent of house-
holds by 1988, when residential curbside re-
cycling and yard trimmings  programs were
implemented. By 1992, more than 89 per-
cent of customers shifted to either a one can
or half can subscription level.
  Seattle estimates that it recycled 40 per-
cent of its waste stream in 1991 through re-
cycling, composting  and yard trimmings
programs. This compares to a 24 percent re-
cycling rate in  1988 when  curbside recy-
cling programs were first established, and a
15 percent recycling rate before the intro-
duction  of variable can rates in 1981. In
1992, the city estimated that more than 88
percent of Seattle residents  participated in
the curbside recycling programs, and 67
percent in the curbside yard trimmings col-
lection program.
  Seattle has studied the effects of the fee
increases on total solid waste disposal, as
well as the interactive effects of other fac-
tors on disposal fees. The Seattle Solid
Waste Utility has produced several studies
and reports since volume-based rates were
first introduced in  1981. Among other
things, the city has quantitatively estimat-
ed both  price and income elasticity factors
for its system. Holding all other factors con-
stant, it was determined that as rates in-
creased, customers disposed of less waste
either by recycling more or by more selec-
tive purchasing. Based on the city's past ex-
perience, the Solid Waste Utility estimates
  64   BioCvcLE

that a 10 percent increase in charges for
residential collection and disposal results in
approximately a two percent reduction in
solid waste disposal — because residents
have the ability to reduce their overall
charges through vanable rates.
  The city  also has determined that
increases in household size and income can
disguise and even counteract the price elas-
ticity effects of its rate programs. For in-
stance, household size and income levels
were positively related to solid waste
disposal. The city estimates that with every
10 percent increase in household real in-
come, roughly 5 9 percent more solid waste
is disposed.

  Tacoma has had variable curbside dispos-
al rates for solid waste collection for more
than 20 years. The city is converting its res-
idential solid waste collection program from
cans to 60 gallon and 90 gallon containers;
more than two-thirds of all Tacoma resi-
dents are now provided containers. In re-
cent years, solid waste rates have increased
significantly as disposal costs have contin-
ued to rise.  For instance, in 1990 the one
can/60-gallon container rate was $7.10 a
month. It rose to $8.05 in 1991, and to
$10.10 in 1992 — -a 42 percent increase in
two years. The two can/90-gallon container
rate also jumped 42  percent over  the same
time period,  from $10.35 to $14.75.
  Concurrent with the implementation of
these rate increases,  Tacoma also began
several residential recycling programs.
Curbside yard trimmings service and recy-
cling was started in 1990, both offered at no
extra charge. Yard trimmings collection in-
creased from 6,000 tons in 1990 to 7,237
tons in 1991, while the amount of recy-
clables collected jumped three-fold during
the same period, from 507 tons to 1,854
  Some of the effects of these rate increas-
es and waste diversion programs can be
seen in the  landfilling data.  Disposal at
Tacoma's municipal landfill fell six percent
between  1989 and 1991 (from 200,593 tons
to 188,449 tons), despite significant popula-
tion growth in the area. The city attributes
some of the decrease to its refusal to accept
large loads of demolition materials begin-
ning in 1989. Tipping fees also have nsen
significantly. The fee for city residents rose
from $22/ton in 1990 to $32/ton in 1992. At
the same time, the tipping fee charged to
noncity residents rose from $64/ton in 1990
to $80/ton in 1992.

   Wilkes-Barre operates a residential vol-
ume-based rate program that differs signif-
icantly from  the other case studies. The city
first introduced a voluntary bag program
for multifamily (five units or more) cus-
tomers in 1988. The bags cost $1  each and
are sold  to residents in packages of eight.
With this program, the city estimates that
the average household living in a multi-


family residence spends $95.90/year for sol-
id waste and recycling services. Currently,
50 percent of all multifamily households
participate in the bag program, while the
other 50 percent contract with private
haulers for solid waste collection services.
Single family households (four units or less)
are charged an annual flat fee of $50/house-
hold. However, the city hopes to expand its
bag program to include the single family
residences in the  future because the pro-
gram has proven to be popular.
  During the first year of the multifamily
bag program, there was a 15 percent reduc-
tion in the total amount of waste collected
city-wide. Recycling services for all resi-
dential customers have been increasing
each year since 1985 as new programs are
added and others  expanded. Wilkes-Barre
now has both curbside recycling and yard
trimmings collection, as well as a home
composting program. The recycling partici-
pation rate reached 65 percent in 1992, and
residents are now diverting an estimated
20 percent of the waste  stream. Between
the bag and recycling programs, the city
has seen more than a  25 percent decrease
in total solid waste disposal at the local
landfill. Tipping  fees at the landfill in-
creased six-fold since 1985, climbing from
$8.65/ton to $5I/ton by 1992.

  Before February, 1991, the suburban
Seattle community of Bothell charged a flat
fee for disposal services of $8.1 I/month.
Then the city implemented curbside recy-
cling and yard trimmings collection pro-
grams and, to support them, set variable
curbside collection rates. The rates were
implemented at $10 for one can, $14 for two,
$18 for three, and $24 for four. These cov-
ered all collection services, including recy-
cling and yard trimmings. This choice was
made in lieu of an increase in the monthly
flat fee to approximately $13 to cover the
same services.
  When the programs were first started,
initial subscription levels in Bothell were
71 percent at the one can level, 28 percent
at the two can level, and less than one per-
cent using three or four cans. One year lat-
er, subscription levels were at 78 percent for
one can, 21 percent for two, and less than
one percent using more than two cans.
  Significant waste reduction resulted from
the program. Initially, an estimated 40 per-
cent of Bothell's residential waste stream
was collected in the curbside recycling and
yard trimmings programs,  leaving 60 per-
cent going to disposal. By 1992, the two pro-
grams were collecting 48 percent of the res-
idential waste stream.

  Minneapolis charges a flat fee for unlim-
ited  residential .solid waste collection but
has a rebate for participation in its curbside
recycling program. Residents were not
specifically  charged for solid waste
collection services until October, 1987,

when the city instituted a $5 monthly fee for
solid waste collection and disposal. The
original fee was a direct result of rising
disposal costs. In 1982, disposal costs were
$21/ton; by January, 1988, the tipping fee
was $38/ton. With an increase to $42/ton in
January, 1989, the residential charge was
increased to $7/month. When forced to
respond to a $757ton tipping fee in June,
1989, the city increased the residential fee
to $12/month, and added a recycling rebate
of $5/month to stimulate the waste reduc-
tion program that had begun in 1983. Fur-
ther increases  in the tipping fee that re-
sulted in higher residential costs were
mitigated by increases in the residential re-
cycling rate.  The 1992 tipping fee of
$99.55/ton was supported by a  $17.50
monthly residential fee, accompanied by a
$7 monthly recycling rebate.
  As disposal costs rose in the 1980s, Min-
neapolis began making additions and re-
finements to its recycling programs that
complemented  the  rebate. The first curb-
side recycling pilot program began in 1982,
when 1,026 tons of recyclables were collect-
ed, less than one percent of the total of
131,995 tons of solid waste. A yard trim-
mings program was added in 1987, and the
city began collecting large metal items
(such as major appliances)  in 1990. By
1992, the participation rate in the curbside
recycling program reached 90 percent.
More than 40,375  tons of recyclables, in-
cluding yard trimmings and  major appli-
ances, were collected in 1992 (approximate-
ly 28 percent of the waste stream), and solid
waste disposal dropped 21 percent from the
1982 level to 104,561 tons.
  To be fair, the city's recycling efforts are
one factor in this reduction: A large drop in
tonnage occurred between  1989 and 1991
when the city changed from cans to carte. A
number of people stored their cans under the
driplines of their garages, causing them to
gather water and snow that made the waste
heavier. Switching to covered carts reduced
the amount of water collected, which the city
estimates lowered tonnages significantly.

  Taken  together, these case studies pro-
vide evidence that variable curbside dis-
posal fees do. assist and support waste re-
duction  efforts. Although the specific
effects  depend on social, demographic and
economic factors where they are imple-
mented, communities  that have variable
disposal fees tend to be enthusiastic about
them. Most of these communities report
that the variable fee structures have sup-
ported other waste reduction activities and
have consequently helped reduce solid
waste disposal levels.                 •

Richard Cuthbert is an executive economist
with R.W. Beck in Seattle, Washington, where
he conducts demand forecasting, financial
impact analyses, rate studies and statistics for
electric,  water and solid waste utilities
Portland residents
increased their
recycling levels
from 740 tons per
month in 1988 to
2,583 tons per
month in 1992 —
more than tripling
the tonnages.
                                                      MAY 1994   66

     Program Planning

     Clearing  Hurdles  in  Switching  to
     Variable  Rate  Pricing

     Attracted by the benefits of solid waste unit pricing but concerned about some of the
     potential drawbacks? An understanding of potential problems and how to overcome them
     may help your community's decision-making when exploring unit pricing—and ease the
     transition if such an approach is adopted.

     By Michael Shapiro
            Unit pricing programs offer com-
            munities an impressive lineup of
            benefits: greater attention by
     residents to waste reduction; increased
     participation by households in recycling
     and composting programs; reduced dis-
     posal costs; and a more equitable waste
     management fee structure. Unlike tradi-
     tional  pricing systems, where every
     household pays the same—regardless of
     how much trash is set out on collection
     day—unit pricing programs charge resi-
     dents only for the waste they discard.
     The less residents toss, the less they pay.
       The benefits certainly have attracted
     many communities. More than 1,600
     communities have switched to some
     form of variable rate pricing for solid
     waste  collection services  in recent
     years. (See Table 1). In addition, several
     state legislatures now either encourage
     or mandate use of variable rate pricing
     for solid waste.1
       The  result  for many communities
     with unit pricing programs has been sig-
     nificantly less waste, lower costs, and
     improved service. Table 2 lists several
     communities that have  implemented
     variable  rate  pricing programs and
     shows some of the waste reduction and
     recycling rate increases. For communi-
     ties concerned about getting squeezed
     between growing waste generation rates
     and  shrinking disposal  options, unit
     pncing might provide the margin their
     waste management programs need.
       However, the switch from traditional
     pricing to unit pricing worries some

     Mike Shapiro is director of the Office of
     Solid Waste for the U.S. Environmental
     Protection Agency.
Table 1: Variable Rate Pricing Programs In Local Governments, By State1
Now Jsrssy
New York
North Carolina
South Dakota


1 States not listed do not have variable rale pricing programs.
3 Minnesota regulations required the use of variable rate lees lor solid waste collection mall 855 communi-
ties beginning in 1993; however, some were exempted or granted delays in implementation.
1 Estimate from Peter Spendetow o) the Oregon Department ol Environmental Quality
Source. S)*Mfpfc Resources Corporation, 1993
MSW planners. While change is rarely
simple, local officials may be concerned
that restructuring the way the commu-
nity conducts and administers its waste
collection program might be more than
they want to take on. In the experience
of communities with variable rate pro-
grams, however, potential  barriers to
implementing unit pricing can be over-
come with some advance preparation.
These barriers include:
  —Building a consensus in the com-
munity about the goals of the program
and the need for changes that unit pric-
ing may bring.
  —Establishing pnces that cover the
costs of waste collection and that resi-
dents feel are fair.
  —Obtaining   participation of  the
entire community, including residents of
multi-family housing.
  —Ensuring that illegal dumping does
not increase significantly after imple-
menting unit pncing

Consensus First: Is Change Needed?
Switching to unit pncing means changes
for both residents and the municipality
administering the program. Concern,
even resistance, can accompany these
changes. To win support for unit pnc-
ing, the municipality needs to think of
residents as customers whose satisfac-
tion is cntical to the program's success.
This means developing  an effective
pricing program  and supporting it with a
strong public education effort.
  When Long Beach, California, began
planning its variable rates program in
1991, residents were  skeptical. Accord-
ing to Jim Kuhl, manager of the city's
Integrated Resources Bureau,  "People
were saying 'Garbage has been collected
the same way for a hundred years. Why
fix something that's not broken?'" Over-
coming the sense that no changes were
                                                        SOLID WASTE TECHNOLOGIES/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1994  17
Reprinted with permission from Solid Waste Technologies Magazine, Adams/Green Industry Publishing, Inc

      Table 2: Selected Communities With Unit Pricing Programs
Mansfield. CT
Seattle, WA
San Jose. CA
Pennsville, NJ
Bound Break. NJ
Antigo. Wl
Charlemont. MA
Plains. PA
Mt. Pleasant, Ml
Du Page County, IL
Plantation, FL
Perkasie, PA
High Bridge. NY
Illion. NY
Program MSW
Type Reduction
Subscription can
Subscription can
Subscription can






      needed was Kuril's biggest hurdle.
        Educating residents about solid waste
      challenges in Long  Beach—and the
      ways in which unit pricing could help—
      was critical to building support for the
      program California had passed a la\v
      mandating specific recycling levels.
      Failure to  meet  these levels  carried
      potential fines of up to  S10.000 per
      day—money  that  ultimately  would
      come  from   community  taxpayers.
      Through presentations at town meetings
      and gatherings  of civic  and  private
      groups, distributing flyers, and meeting
      with the city's elected officials. Long
      Beach showed how the plan's waste pre-
      vention incentives offered a cost-effec-
      tive way to boost  the city's recycling
rate, enabling it to meet the states man-
date, and avoid costly fines.
  In addition, the city showed how the
program  would   save  a  significant
amount of money for those residents
who already were generating less waste.
To  help  drive home this point.  Long
Beach officials compared the rates for
waste collection with the other utility
services residents receive. This argument
made sense to residents,  said Kuhl:
"People understand that  no one can just
go to a gas station and buy 20 gallons for
the price of 5—residents have to pay for
the amount of service they use." Through
its public education program, the city
convinced residents that waste reduction
incentives would help the city succeed in
      Mailing Trash
      When a unit pricing systems was started in Loveland, Colorado, residents were asked to buy
      trash bags for 75 cents apiece at retail outlets. Residents soon complained, apparently compar-
      ing the cost of the trash bags with other plastic bags they could buy for pennies. To make the
      connection between the cost ol the bags and collection and disposal service, the city changed
      to bag tags, and compared the tags to stamps. Now. to "mail" their garbage to the landfill, Love-
      land residents afix one 75-cent stamp on each 30-gallon bag they put out for collection A 40-
      cent stamp is good tor a 13-gallon bag. and a sofa will set you back about 13 stamps.

 its overall solid waste program. In turn,
 residents supported unit pricing.

 At What Price?
 Switching to  unil pricing also often
 means convincing residents about their
 bottom line results. Cases in Mansfield,
 Connecticut, and  Loveland. Colorado,
 illustrate the point.
   Before implementing its variable rate
 program in 1990, the town of Mansfield
 worked to find  a price structure that res-
 idents would consider  fair. Lon Hull-
 gren, Director of Public Works, said his
 department began by designing a sub-
 scription-based program to replace the
 private waste  collection  service  resi-
 dents had previously used. (Under the
 old system, residents paid a flat fee of
 about 520 per month for unlimited ser-
 vice).  For  the  new program,  the town
 decided to offer four service levels: one,
 two, and four  cans per week,  plus a
 "mini" service  level of just one bag per
 week. The town established prices for
 each level that  would, in (he aggregate,
 cover all program costs.
   Next, since the amount set for the
 most common  service level was about
 10 percent  higher than the flat fee resi-
 dents were paying previously  for waste
 collection services, planners lowered it
 to a figure  they felt was closer to what
 the market  would bear. The result was a
 fee of $20.75 per month for two-can ser-
 vice (with  each can 35-gallons). The
 prices of  other  service  levels were
 adjusted slightly to maintain the costs-
 revenues balance. The price was set at
 $14.50 per month for one-bag service,
 $17.50 for one-can (or two bag) service,
 and $26.50 for four cans.
   The city overcame what  Hultgren
 described as the "classic resistance" to
 a user-fee system, and the program is
 now well accepted. With customers get-
 ting used to it, there has been a general
trend of residents subscribing for lower
 level service.
   Mick Mercer, the Streets and Solid
Waste Manager in  Loveland, Colorado,
agrees that price  concerns  are  key.
Despite good intentions, "most people
don't pay much attention to solid waste
issues. Pocketbook concerns  are what
really matter." The key,  said Mercer, is
to design a  program that will cost about
the same or save money.
   In Loveland, the switch to variable
pricing began with  a pilot program serv-
ing about 2,000 households three years
ago.  Loveland  took the program city-
wide (14.000 households) in April 1993.

 Table 3: Effect of Variable Rate Pricing on Illegal Dumping and Recycling Rates
Cities with notable problems
Harvard, IL
Ithaca, NY
Woodstock. IL
Mt Pleasant. Ml
Cities with minor problems
Downers Grove. IL
Perkasw. PA
Lisle. IL
Cities with no apparent problems
High Bridge. NJ
Chariemont, MA
Antgo. WA
Ilion. NY
Rock Falls-Starling. IL
Seattle. WA




Residential Landfill

-34% to -31%



• •
% Change



 " Seattle reported no apparent problems with illegal dumping, but did not report changes in waste genera-
 tion or recycling changes NA=no applicable data
 Source  "Under What Conditions Should Cities Adopt Volume-Based Pricing tor Residential SoM Waste Col-
       Darnel Slums. Master's Memo Study. Duke University. May 1991
 City planners estimated that most resi-
 dents would probably use one 30-gallon
 bag per week, down from the previous
 two to three bags per week A year into
 the full program, studies verify that the
 average set out is now about 0 88 bags
 per household per week
   Under  the old program,  residents
 were paying S3 75 per month for unlim-
 ited waste collection services: the city
 wanted to be sure not to come in too
 much over this for those households that
 were able to increase their waste preven-
 tion and recycling.
   The city decided that a rate of 75 cents
 per 30-gallon bag would encourage resi-
 dents to reduce and recycle while keep-
 ing per-household costs at a reasonable

   Getting  Some  Help
   To help Interested communities
   learn more about the process of
   planning, designing, and Imple-
   menting unit pricing programs, the
   U.S. Environmental Protection
   Agency has prepared a guide,
   "Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons
   Learned About Unit Pricing." This
   guide provides detailed technical
   information on unit pricing based
   on the experiences of 11 communi-
   ties with programs in place. The
   manual (EPA 530-R-94-004) is
   free; to  order, call the RCRA Hot-
   line at (600) 424-9346, or write to
   U.S. EPA, RCRA Information Cen-
   ter (5305). 401 M Street S.W..
   Washington, DC 20460.
 level. Adding the cost for households that
 set out one bag per week ($3 25/month)
 to the fixed monthly fee for curbside and
 yard  waste  recycling services (S3 40/
 month), (he total refuse and recycling ser-
 vice  costs  each  household  S665/
 month—only 90 cents per month more
 than the old program.
   The system was started by selling bags
 at retail outlets for 75 cents each  Despite
 some education efforts preceding the
 switch, residents  began  complaining
 almost immediately about the cost of the
 bags. They compared them to supermar-
 ket bags that cost just pennies apiece
 Loveland officials realized they had lo
 find some way to help residents make the
 connection between the cost of the bags
 and the town's waste collection services
   Loveland solid waste planners accom-
 plished this by changing from bags to
 tags and  comparing  the  new tags to
 stamps—in effect, asking residents to
 "mail" their waste to the landfill A sin-
 gle "trash stamp" costs 75 cents and
 covers one  30-gallon bag. A  40 cent
 stamp also is sold lo those households
 that need just a  13-gallon bag.
  The stamp  program helps  handle
 bulky items, too To dispose of a couch,
 for example, residents are asked to call
 the solid waste office, describe the item,
 and are told how many stamps it will
cost. A standard-sized sofa takes about
 13 stamps—about $9 75
  The adjustment the city made to meet
criticism paid off After the first year of
operation, a survey showed that 87 per-
cent of residents gave the program a
 mark of good or excellent.

 All in the Family
 Another potential burner for communi-
 ties implementing unit pricing is to de-
 sign a program thai extends the waste re-
 duction incentive to residents of multi-
 family  housing. In multi-family resi-
 dences  (buildings  with  five units or
 more), tenants typically are asked to bring
 their waste to a central dumpster for col-
 lection.  Since their garbage is combined,
 identifying the amounts of waste thai
 individual  residents discard in order to
 charge accordingly can be difficult
   Mansfield, Connecticut, faced such a
 challenge  Home to University of Con-
 necticut, Mansfield has a large  studeni
 population living in multi-family hous-
 ing But the town  has  come  up with a
 strategy to help extend unti pricing lo
 ihese residents. The town charges the
 landlords of multi-family housing a
 variable rate for the  waste  collected
 from their tenants  Since these costs arc
 included in the rent, residents do not see
 what they pay for waste collection. So.
 Mansfield officials  sought ways to show
 residents of multi-family buildings that
 waste reduction could bring them poten-
 tial cost savings
   For example, when a 60-umt condo-
 minium complex switched from its pri-
 vate waste hauling services  to Mans-
 field's  unit  pricing   program,  town
 officials reviewed its waste management
 costs. It found that (he  complex was
 overpaying  for waste collection services
 The officials showed how the complex
 could actually  save money under the
 program, if everyone cut down on waste
 generation  and  began recycling, the
 complex could  actually save  money
 under the program. And  these savings
 could lead to a reduction in the  condo-
 minium fees charged to residents, or at
 least prevent them from  going up
   Another strategy to extend  unit pric-
 ing to multi-family units is simply to
 include as many residents of multi-fam-
 ily housing as possible in your standard
 program  In Long Beach. California, for
 waste collection purposes, the city con-
 siders residents in developments with
 10 or fewer units to be single-family
residences. These  units are given the
same containers and rate options as all
other single-family households Kuhl.
from the city's resources board,  reports
that tenants had few difficulties making
the transition to the can-based unit
pricing program, even in cases where
these developments previously used a

      central waste dumpster.

      Illegal Dumping: Enemy No. 1?
      When a community introduces the pos-
      sibility of unit pricing to its residents,
      one concern frequently mentioned is
      whether residents might dump waste
      illegally to avoid paying fees. Accord-
      ing to Henry Fisher, the Solid Waste
      Manager for McHenry County, Illinois,
      the first thing that should be understood
      is  that  illegal dumping  has always
occurred. In addition, although this is
difficult to gauge, there is no evidence
of a large-scale increase in illegal dump-
ing due to of variable rate programs.
  McHenry County's experience is sim-
ilar to that of many communities that
have adopted variable rate pricing. A
report by the Reason Foundation cited
several multi-community studies that
show illegal dumping is not a significant
problem.1 Another study covering 14
cities reported no problem in six cities.
minor problems  in  four  cities, and
notable problems in four cities.2 Table 3
shows the effect of illegal dumping on
recovery in these  14 cities. Since these
communities do  not use  a standard
methodology for gauging changes in
waste generation and recycling rates,
these data should be considered esti-
mates. The extent of illegal dumping in
the communities had either no effect or
only a marginal effect on the effective-
ness of the programs. Another study of
eight cities show no dumping problems
in seven of the eight cities.1-2

Tempering the Temptation
Difficulties with  illegal dumping can
be addressed through a combination of
enforcement and public education. One
method McHenry County's Fisher sug-
gests is to reduce residents' incentive
to dispose of waste outside the system
by adopting a  multi-tiered rate struc-
ture that includes a flat rate for a basic
level of service and a modest per-unit
charge for any additional waste col-
lected. In this way, residents pay  a
direct price that is less than if the pro-
gram relied entirely on per-unit charges
for program revenue. And households
also receive a certain level of trash col-
lection they might perceive as  free.
(Residents pay for this basic service, of
course, in the traditional manner—via
taxes or flat fees.) With this combina-
tion, individuals who might otherwise
be tempted to dump waste believe the
new prices are reasonable and are more
inclined to participate.
  Loveland's Mercer agrees that illegal
dumping  is "perceived as  a  bigger
problem than  it really is."  Where  it
does occur, illegal dumping in Love-
land typically takes the form of indi-
viduals leaving trash in commercial or
apartment building dumpsters. To pre-
vent this, Mercer's office conducted
extensive public  education  about all
aspects of unit pricing, including ille-
gal dumping.  The office  also works
hard to investigate complaints of viola-
tions. Where illegal dumping is sus-
pected, the office often finds the name
and  address of the  violator in  mail
found in the trash.  The individual is
notified of the finding and warned that
any additional violations will result in
prosecution. "We  haven't  had any
repeat violations yet," said Mercer.

Other Forms of Beating the System
When illegal dumping occurs, it com-
monly takes  the form of roadside

dumping  or citizens dumping  their
trash in commercial dumpsters. Some-
times,  residents cut back on waste by
dropping nonrecycable materials into
recycling bins
  Long Beach. California,  found an
increase in contamination  of recy-
clables soon after  implementing  its
variable pricing system for trash.  To
correct the behavior, the city did not
collect  the materials from any recy-
cling  bins containing  nonrecyclable
materials.  Instead,  collection crews
attached notes to the bins that listed the
program's  recyclable  materials and
explained that residents could remove
the nonrecyclables and call the city to
reschedule the pickup—often on the
same day. Since implementation of the
policy, contamination of recycling bins
has dropped dramatically.
  Another way residents have found to
beat unit pricing systems is to compact
their waste to fil as much trash into
fewer bags or smaller cans Loveland
dealt with this potential problem by es-
tablishing  a   50-pound  maximum
weight for trash bags set out for collec-
tion Besides providing more accurate
estimates of waste collected, (his pro-
tected sanitation workers. When over-
stuffing does occur, the collection crew
leaves a note  for the resident, explain-
ing why it didn't collect the waste and
inviting the resident to call with any

Changes in the Office
Some communities find that changing to
unit pricing for solid waste also brings
increased administrative demands, in-
cluding the need for additional personnel
or equipment Communities can structure
programs to minimize these demands. In
Loveland. one reason  why planners
decided upon  the "postage stamp" con-
cept was the low overhead in such a sys-
tem Several stores in town agreed to sell
the stamps with no mark-up  As a result,
the city has few additional expenses asso-
ciated with stamp sales and distribution.
Loveland simply bills the stores monthly
for the stamps they sell. Only one addi-
tional person has been hired—a customer
service person used to answer questions
that come in by phone.
Making the Move
To make the move to unit pricing, com-
munities should take steps ahead of time
to deal with potential barriers—before
they become a problem  In addition to the
issues discussed here, there inevitably
will be other, community-specific con-
cerns that need to be addressed. Accord-
ing to communities with  variable  rate
programs, however, these  issues  are
manageable and that switching to unit
pricing is worth investigating        •

Inquiries about this article should be
directed to the RCRA Hotline. (800)

'Skumatz,  L, "Variable  Rates  for
  Municipal Solid Waste  Implementa-
  tion  Experience. Economics,  and
  Legislation," June  1993,  Reason
  Foundation, Los Angeles. California
2Blume. D., "Under What Conditions
  Should Cities Adopt Volume-Based
  Pricing for Residential Solid Waste
  Collection1'" Master's Memo Study,
  Duke University, May 1991.
                                                      SOLID WASTE TECHNOLOGIES/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1994  25

         Using  volume-based
  user  fees   in  rural  areas:
                   How  do  they  work?
                      Implementing volume-based user fees in rural
                      locales is easier, and more successful, than
                  conventional wisdom would have us believe.
  bv William M. Park
  As the "solid waste crisis" has unfolded over
  the last five to 10 years, most attention has
  been focused on urban and suburban areas,
  where huge volumes of solid waste and re-
  cyclables must be managed. Naturally then.
  discussions of the role of user fees in solid
  waste management, particularly volume- or
  weight-based fees, have centered on their im-
  plementation within a context of door-to-door
  garbage and recycling collection. Bui in some
  sense, collection of solid waste and recyclable*
  in rural communities through a drop-off sys-
  tem poses an even greater challenge, partic-
  ularly from the standpoint of financing this
  public service and providing incentives for
  source reduction and recycling
    Historically, rural communities have faced
  relatively low solid waste management costs
  that in most cases were funded by general
  property taxes.  But times have changed. Fed-
  eral landfill regulations and state mandates
  for more comprehensive collection systems
  and diversion of materials from landfills
  through recycling or other means have
  changed the situation dramatically, exacer-
  bating the inherent difficulties of small total
  population bases and low population densi-
  ties that rural communities face.
    Costs have risen to the point that they rep-
  resent a major claim on rural community bud-
  gets.  Rural counties, often tagged as the "re-
  sponsible unit of government" in state solid
waste management legislation, are in a par-
ticularly difficult situation. Because low pop-
ulation densities limit the incentive to private
haulers to serve residents in outlying areas.
many rural counties have gotten into the col-
lection business by converting old landfill
sites to transfer stations primarily for self-
haulers or by implementing what is typical-
ly called a "convenience center" system. Such
a system involves a number of conveniently
located sites with access controlled during
open hours by an attendant, where residents
can drop off their household garbage and per-
haps separate out a number of recyclable ma-
Willlam M Park is professor ot Agricultural Economics and is affiliated with the Waste Management
Research and Education Institute ai the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The research was con-
ducted while the author was a visiting professor in the Western Rural Development Center at Oregon
State University, in conjunction with the National Rural Studies Committee, a project sponsored by the
Kellogg Foundation.
Reprinted by permission from Resource Recycling, P.O. Box 10540. Portland, OR 97296-0540. 503-227-1319.

  tenals. As such, the question naturally aris-
  es about whether volume-based user fees
  (VBUFs) could, or should, be implemented
  within such u system
    According to conventional wisdom, the
  answer to this question is, "No."  Rural solid
  waste managers and elected officials may
  readily acknowledge the two basic arguments
  in support of volume-based user fees, name-
  ly the equity of households paying in pro-
 Volume-based fees:
 A recycling incentive
 •  Residents can reduce volume-based
     user fees by separating recyclable
     materials from waste.

 •  Backyard composting allows resi-
     dents to control their user fees. ,

 •  Special wastes (yard debris, white
     goods, furniture, tires, etc.) are usual-
     ly accepted at drop-off sites at a
 •   nominal cost, or none at all.
portion to the amount of solid waste they gen-
erate and the incentive such fees offer for
source reduction and recycling.  However,
most would be equally quick to point out that
volume-based fees may encourage some res-
idents to employ inappropriate disposal meth-
ods, e g. illegal dumping or on-site burning
or burying  They would also likely express
concern about other possible political and ad-
ministrative impediment!).
  This conventional wisdom is reflected as
well by the absence of any explicit attention
to the rural drop-off collection context in the
several local decisionmaker guides  to unit
pricing that have been published in recent
years  The purpose of the research reported
upon in this article is to call into question this
conventional wisdom by assessing the expe-
rience of several rural communities that have
implemented volume-based user fees within
a drop-off collection context
  The First step involved identification of
what are considered to be successful exam-
ples  A June 1993 article in Resource Recy-
cling ("Community adoption of variable rates:
An update") indicated the number of "van-
able rate pricing" programs by state as of ear-
ly 1993. Contact was made with slate agency
personnel in those stales with the highest num-
ber of programs, as well as other persons
knowledgeable about rural solid waste man-
agement across the country
   Eventually, this process yielded six exam-
ples within a drop-off context that varied with
respect to geographic and demographic char-
acteristics of the jurisdiction, as well as char-
acteristics of the user fee system. Once this set
of six was finalized, a Five-page questionnaire
was sent to the person most closely .involved
with administration of the solid waste man-
agement system and was used as an outline for
an extensive telephone interview
   Contact was also made with elected offi-
cials or others in each community who could
provide some perspective on either the polit-
ical and administrative considerations in im-
plementing the user fee system or the impacts
of the system, both positive and negative.
This article provides a summary of compa-
rable information from all six case studies.
More detailed information on each case study
will be included in a comprehensive report to
be published later

Information on the basic geographic and de-
mographic characteristics for each jurisdic-
tion is presented in Table I  This information
demonstrates the wide variation across the ju-
risdictions with respect to land area, popula-
tion, population density, and the estimated
percentage and number of residents who use
the drop-off system.
   The jurisdictions portrayed here consid-
ered user fee system!* for a few months to
more than two years before they were im-
plemented  Before user fee systems were im-
plemented, waste management was funded
       Resource Recycling January I99S

^^U^^fl Geographic and demographic characteristics
Jurisdiction Dubois
Type of jurisdiction County
State Indiana
Area (square miles) 433
Total population 36,600
Population density
(per square mile) 85
Population, percent
using drop-off sites 50%
Total population
using drop-off sites 1 8,300
( I ) Volume-based user fees implemented by
Source: William M. Pink, 1994.















1 1 towns within Monroe County.

by general property tax revenues in four cas-
es, a serial property tax levy in one case and
a flat per parcel assessment in the other. Al-
though the administrative and political as-
pects of the consideration and implementa-
tion period vary across the cases, and in every
case represent an interesting story, space lim-
itations do not permit a detailed discussion of
each one. A common element, however, was
a concerted effort to publicize plans to im-
plement the user fee well ahead of time and
to educate residents as to the need and logic
   Another commonality was that significant
changes were made in the solid waste man-
                          agement system at the time user fees were
                          implemented.  Dubois County. Indiana and
                          Tin County, Georgia convened an existing
                          waste collection drop box system to a con-
                          venience center system, and recycling op-
                          portunities were initiated. In Houston Coun-
                          ty, Minnesota, collection of solid waste and
                          recyclable materials was provided by the
                          county for (he first time  In Lane County,
                          Oregon, existing transfer sites were secured,
                          recycling was expanded and a recycling cred-
                          it was introduced. In general, towns in Mon-
                          roe County. Wisconsin implemented user fees
                          at the time small individual town dumps were
                          closed and were convened to transfer stations
                                           When the Town of Weathersfield, Vermont
                                           initiated user fees, it also expanded its set of
                                           recyclable materials collected.
                                             The basic characteristics of each user fee
                                           system are summarized in Table 2.  All ex-
                                           cept Lane County were implemented between
                                           1990andl992. In terms of the "type" of sys-
                                           tem, two require purchase of a special bag,
                                           two require purchase of a token or sticker to
                                           attach to the residents' own bag, and two re-
                                           quire cash payment at the drop-off site for the
                                           residents' own bags. Convening the fees to
                                           a consistent basis indicates a range of $0.50
                                           to $2 00 per 30-gallon bag Although none
                                           of the systems charge for recyclables, Hous-
  Table  2
I User fee systems: Basic elements
Date initiated
Type of bag
Fee mechanism

Fee per unit of volume
Minimum fee

Credit or payment for
Fee paid at drop-off sites
Fee paid at municipal offices
Fee paid at stores
            .- Dubois

             April '91





    Oct. '91
  July '80
$1.30/30-gal.(l) $2.00/32-gal.(2)  $1.10/33-gaI.
     $1.30           $6.00          $1.10
Percentage of total cost
  covered by fee
General property tax funding     Yes
Rat assessment                 No
 Buy-back for


$1.50 credit
for 10 Ibs. +
 •  No











   July '91





Gal. = Gallon.
HH = Household.
(I) Or $.07 per pound.
(2) Other rates: $ 12 per pickup load or $5 per cubic yard.
(3) Other bag sizes and fees: $.45 per 8 gallon and $.75 per 16 gallon
(4) Although the solid waste management system is self-supporting overall, the rural drop-off collection component is "subsidized" to some extent
   by other system components.
Source: William M. Park, 1994.
                                                                                         Resource Recycling January 19951

   ton County buys hack aluminum and Lane
   County offers a S1.50 credit tor users who
   separate out at least 10 pounds of reeyclables
   per visit.
      With regard to overall solid waste man-
   agement system financing, only Lane Coun-
   ty covers all of its solid waMe  management
   system costs with user fees, although landfill
   tipping fees do. to some extent, subsidi/.e the
   system of drop-off sites that  serve primarily
   rural self-haulers.  VBUFs in the other sys-
   tems cover from 26 to 63 percent of the total
   solid waste management system cost, with
   the remainder covered by ud valorem prop-
   erty taxes in three cases, an annual per parcel
   assessment in one case, and a combination of
   property taxes and a monthly per household
   assessment  in the other.  These "hybrid" fi-
   nancing strategies allow per bag fees to be
   kept at the relatively modest  levels noted
   above, thus limiting the incentive for inap-
   propriate  disposal.
   Reeyclables and special wastes
   Discussions of volume-based user fee s"ys-
   tems typically emphasize the importance of
   providing households with an opportunity
   to reduce their costs by separating materials
   lor recycling. Together with source reduc-
   tion options such as  backyard composting.
   VBUFs allow residents some degree of con-
trol over their
"garbage bill"
and can con-
tribute to pub-
lic acceptance
of a user fee
   The si x pro-
grams present-
ed here accept
a wide variety
of recyclable
materials.  The
basic five ma-
terials — alu-
minum cans,
glass contain-
ers, steel cans.
old newspapers
and old corru-
gated contain-
ers —  are ac-
cepted in all of
the systems, and five systems accept plastics,
magazines and at least one additional type of
   Given the variation across the jurisdictions
with respect to land area and population, one
would expect variation as well in the opera-
tional characteristics and technologies used
within the systems. As indicated in Table 3,
this is indeed the case, with the number of
Since 1980. Lane County, Oregon has charged user fees and given recy-
cling credit* at its rural transfer stations, such as this one in Creswell.

                            sites ranging from one to 15, the number of
                            hours open ranging from about 10 to 80, and
                            the tonnage of recyclable materials handled
                            per site in 1993 ranging from 43 to 275 tons.
                            Technologies used for collecting and trans-
                            porting materials and arrangements for proc-
                            essing and marketing also vary widely, as does
                            the role of private sector firms in relation to
                            these activities.
        Resource Recycling January

•JfflU^Xl Recycling system characteristics
Number of drop-off sites
Hours open per week
Average tons of recyclable
materials per site in 1993
Containers for recyclables

Transportation of
Processing and market-
ing of recyclables

4 cy. dumpsters

County trucks

Local salvage

20 cy. closed top
County trucks

County MRF


90 gal.
wheeled carts
1 per town


Private firm


Trailer with
County trucks

County MRF


Bunkers and

Town baler

N A = Not available. Cy. = Cubic yard. MRF = Materials recovery facility.
Source: William M. Park, 1994.

   Recommendations by solid waste man-
agement professionals regarding treatment of
special wastes such as yard debris, white
goods, furniture and tires generally empha-
size the importance of providing timely, con-
venient and low-cost options for disposal  Al-
though the ways these special wastes are han-
dled vanes across the six systems, most ac-
cept (hem at no or nominal cost at one or more
drop-off sites, thereby limiting any incentive
for residents to do something inappropriate
with items or materials of these sorts.
Positive impacts
While volume-based user fees are often jus-
tified on equity grounds, one would certain-
ly hope that they would reduce the amount of
solid waste requiring disposal, as a result of
the incentives provided for separation and
source reduction efforts on the pan of resi-
dents. Although the information available on
this subject was somewhat uncertain and dif-
ficult to interpret in most cases, there is a good
bit of evidence to suggest that the incentives
provided by these user fee systems are mak-
ing a significant difference.
   While definitive "before and after" figures
isolating the effect on solid waste tonnages
requiring disposal were lacking, there was ev-
idence of small absolute reductions in three
cases  In one other case, solid waste tonnage
stayed roughly constant even though signif-
icant economic and population growth  was
taking place. Reported increases in tonnage
of recyclables collected account for pan of
the decreases in disposal tonnage, but it is im-
possible to know how much of the remain-
                                                                                          Resource Recycling January 1995

                             Table 4
                            Participation in recycling (1)
                            Recyclables recovered (2)
                            Diversion/recovery rates (3)
der of the  decreases
were  due  to actual
source reduction efforts
motivated   by   the
VBUFs and how much
was due to other factors.
   Although it was dif-
ficult to calculate a valid
diversion or recovery
rate for the rural drop-off
systems alone, as noted
in Table 4, three counties
had computed county-
wide rates for state re-
ports that ranged from
20 to 34 percent. In ad-
dition, information from
the Town of Weathers-
field indicated a diver-
sion or recovery rate of
about 29 percent
   Per capita amounts of recyclables collect-
ed were computed in four of the cases, based
on rough estimates of the number of people
using the drop-off systems. For Dubois, Lane,
and Tift counties, annual recovery ranged
from 40 to 60 pounds per capita. For the
Town of Weathersfield, approximately ISO
pounds per capita were collected in 1993. For
Houston and Monroe counties, only a coun-
tywide generation rate could be computed,
which thus included recyclables from curb-
Measures of impact on recycling
                Dubois     Houston     Lane     Monroe      Tift    Weathersfield
                            N. A. = Not available.
                            (1) Percentage of residents using drop-off sites for garbage disposal who separate out some recyclables, bused on careful head
                               counts in Dubois and Tift counties and rough approximations elsewhere.
                            (2) In pounds per capita in 1993. For typical set of residential materials, including aluminum and steel cans, glass, plastic and
                               various forms of paper. For Houston and Monroe counties, only countywide tonnage figures were available. Thus, too-
                               nageisdivided by total county population, including residents served by curbside recycling collection programs. In the oth-
                               er four jurisdictions, tonnage collected only from dropoff sites is divided by the «ri"u»ftd population using the sites.
                            (3) In percent in 1993. These diversion/recovery rates are jurisdictionwide and thus include materials collected in curbside re-
                               cycling collection programs as well as items like white goods and yard waste. Exactly what is counted may differ some-
                               what across cases.
                            Source: William M Park, 1994.
                                               side recycling collection in some municipal-
                                               ities. Annual pounds per capita were 146 for
                                               Houston and 98 for Monroe.
                                                  Finally, perhaps as useful an indicator as
                                               any of the impact of VBUFs in these case stud-
                                               ies is the level of participation in the separa-
                                               tion of recyclables, measured in percent. In
                                               two of the cases, participation had been care-
                                               fully monitored or tracked over a long period
                                               of time; in three others, an estimate was made
                                               on the basis of general observations by atten-
                                              dants and solid waste managers. The range
                                              across die five cases was 65 to 95 percent, with
                                              the average at 80 percent, which is relatively
                                              high compared to previous estimates for drop-
                                              off recycling systems elsewhere without vol-
                                              ume-based user fee systems.

                                              As noted in the introductory section, con-
                                              ventional wisdom has it that user fee systems
                                              in a rural drop-off collection system context
        \ResourceRec\cling January 1995

 ''arc likely to generate serious problems in the
 jform of increased illegal dumping and
 ^burning, as well as less senous ones such as
 .excessive compaction, use of pnvate com-
 mercial collection containers and out-
 of-junsdiction disposal. Although at least
 one of these problems was noted as minor in
 each of the systems studied, in no case did
 solid waste managers or elected officials view
 any problem as senous enough to undertake
 a fundamental reconsideration of the user fee
 system. It is good to keep in mind, however,
 that these assessments are admittedly sub-
 jective and are based on interviews with peo-
 ple closely involved with each system who
 may  have some vested interest in portraying
 their system in the best light.
    In several cases, where an increase in ille-
 gal dumping occurred, a show  of willingness
 to enforce applicable ordinances was appar-
 ently sufficient to reduce the illegal dumping
 fairly quickly to more usual levels. A typical
 approach has been to identify the responsible
 party from mail in household garbage and
 send a letter slating that cleanup is required
 by a certain date, with the threat of a modest
 fine if it is not done. Some counties have pub-
 lished names in the newspapers or required
 citizens to appear before a county judge. The
 increased burning in some cases was not nec-
 essarily looked upon as a problem, because
 burning of clean wood or paper is allowable
in some rural areas, although concern was ex-
pressed in some cases about burning of oth-
er materials. To avoid any problems with ex-
cessive compaction, Houston County insti-
tuted a weight limit of 30 pounds per bag from
the beginning.  In several cases, minor prob-
lems with use of pnvate commercial collec-
tion containers were eliminated with the use
of locks. lift County initially had some prob-
lem with residents going across the county
line to use unattended containers at a waste
collection drop box system in a neighboring
county, but those containers were soon relo-
cated away from the county line.
   Another concern expressed often is that
administration of a VBUF system in a rural
drop-off context might be infeasible or pro-
hibitively costly. Although minor adminis-
trative adjustments have been made along the
way in all of the systems, in no case were (he
basic administrative changes major impedi-
ments. In addition, in  most cases adminis-
trative costs were not increased substantial-
ly, because the commitment had already been
made, quite separately from the VBUF ques-
tion, to have attended drop-off sites. Costs
associated with sale of the bags, stickers or
tokens have been minimal, and no billing sys-
tem is required in any of the systems.

Although VBUFs may not be  the most ap-
propnate financing strategy for all rural ar-
eas, the experience of these rural counties and
towns warrants the following conclusions.
Implementing a volume-based user fee sys-
tem in a rural drop-off context appears feasi-
ble across a wide range of geographic and de-
mographic conditions, as well as a wide range
of system characteristics, without prohibitive
administrative problems or costs.
   Most residents appear willing to support
(or at least accept) a volume-based user fee
system if they are well informed of the need
for and logic of the system in advance, and
are given reasonable options for gaining some
measure of control over their total bill. Hy-
brid financing strategies allow per-bag fees
to be kept at modest levels. Support comes
more easily if VBUFs are initiated at the time
of a significant enhancement of the collec-
tion system.
   VBUFs within rural drop-off collection
systems appear capable of motivating rela-
tively high levels of participation in the sep-
aration of recyclables, thus contributing to
relatively high per capita generation rates for
typical recyclables and countywide diversion
or recovery rates
   At least minor problems with increased il-
legal dumping and burning can be expected,
but a show of willingness to enforce ordi-
nances against such practices can lead to fair-
ly quick subsidence.                 RR
i	.
                                                   Circle 203 on RR service card
                                                                                           Re source Recycling January 1995

Annotated   Bibliography
         lanners considering pay-as-you-throw may want to conduct
         additional research to help them learn more about how these
         programs work. This section includes an annotated bibliogra-
         phy and an additional list of references to help facilitate your
     research. Compiled in the following bibliography are over 50 recent
     articles that appeared in a variety of publications, from solid waste
     trade magazines to reports from universities and private institutions.
     The entries in this bibliography were selected to help provide a com-
     prehensive review of the economic, environmental, and legislative
     issues surrounding pay-as-you-throw. A number of articles analyze
     the impact of pay-as-you-throw on waste reduction amounts and
     recycling rates. Other studies examine the financial benefits of pay-
     as-you-throw as a solid waste management strategy for municipali-
     ties. A few articles identify successful public outreach and education
     mechanisms used by particular communities when  instituting their
     pay-as-you-throw programs. In addition, if you find additional
     resources on pay-as-you-throw in the course of your research, you
     can three-hole punch a  sheet of paper with those references and
     add it to this section.
     This bibliography was developed by Marie Lynn Miranda of Duke
     University  as part of a research project on the impact of pay-as-you-
     throw programs.

Pay-As- You-Throw Annotated

  Adamec, Barbara. "Volume-Based Collection Fees: A Success Story." Resource Recy-
      cling. March, 1991.
      A review of the unit pricing program in Lisle, Illinois. The community's variable rate sys-
      tem has successfully increased recycling participation and reduced waste generation with-
      out significant problems. The author based her conclusions on a survey of 100 residents.
      She divided the respondents into'four socio-economic groups and found that recycling
      participation was high across all groups, but that average set-out levels seemed to rough-
      ly increase with income. She also found that the average decrease in garbage from 1989
      to 1990 was 53 percent, with 63 percent in the highest month (August) and 38 percent in
      the lowest (October). The average loss in total volume was 31 percent, with 46 percent in
      the highest month (August) and 8 percent in the lowest (October).

  Albrecht, Oscar W. "An Evaluation of User Charges ,for  Solid Waste Collection and
      Disposal." Resource, Recovery and Conservation. Vol. 2.1976/1977.
      An early introduction to the concept of user fees for waste collection services. Variable
      rates, like effluent charges for air and water pollutants, provide a pricing incentive to
      reduce the amount of garbage generated. A University of California study estimated the
      price elasticity of demand for solid waste service at 0,44, and an analysis by the City of
      Chicago found that waste production had a per capita income elasticity of 0.53. The key
      question with unit pricing is: will it result in lower system costs and higher net benefits
      than other pricing systems. Other questions include: does unit pricing lead to other dis-
      posal activities, including burning and Uttering; and, does unit pricing affect household
      choices of service levels?

  Alderden, Jim. "Volume-Based Rates, Dream or Nightmare?" Recycling Today.
      November, 1990.
      Unit pricing has been shown to encourage recycling and reduce the amount of municipal
      waste collected. Communities utilizing variable rates have  reported an average reduction
      in garbage of 28 percent, with a range of 25 percent to 50 percent. It is also fairer to
      those that produce less waste. The downside of unit pricing is that it can encourage illegal
      dumping, especially at the beginning of the program, and lead to insufficient revenue for
      waste haulers. McHenry County, Illinois, had problems with residential garbage being
      thrown into commercial dumpsters. Blazier Disposal'in Harvard, Illinois, set its rates based

                  on on estimated pickup of 1.6 bags per household and it only got 1.2 bags, leaving it short
                  of revenue. Issues to consider include the demographic mix of the community, whether it
                  is urban or rural, the level of community environmental awareness, the recydables that
                  will be collected,  whether adequate revenue will be generated, and whether the program
                  will be voluntary or mandatory.

              Andresen, Katya. "Communities Weigh Merits of Variable Rates: Residents' Fees for
                  Garbage Disposals." World Wastes. November, 1992.
                  A review of volume-based programs, experiments with weight-based fees, and technologi-
                  cal innovations in waste collection. The author spoke with several solid waste profession-
                  als and academics who have studied variable rates, including Lisa Skumatz and Glen
                  Morris. She summarized different system options, and reported on the success of unit
                  pricing in Santa Maria,  California, Seattle,  Washington, Perkasie, Pennsylvania, and ///on,
                  New York. Weight-based systems have been tested in Seattle, Washington, Farmington,
                  Minnesota, and Durham, North Carolina. Charging by weight, while more difficult to
                  implement, would provide a more accurate pricing signal to residents than vo/ume-bosed
                  fees. Illegal disposal is a significant concern with unit pricing, but the problem can be
                  headed off by providing free drop-off days, locking commercial dumpsters, and strictly
                  enforcing anti-dumping ordinances. Technological developments, like bar coding cans,
                  make waste collection easier and cheaper.  Concerns about accuracy can be addressed
                  by high standards and hauler education.

              Bender, Rodd; Briggs, Wyman; De Witt,  Diane. Toward Statewide Unit Pricing in
                  Massachusetts; Influencing the Policy Cycle. Master's Degree Project. John  F.
                  Kennedy School of Government. January, 1994.
                  The /Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs advocates unit pricing for
                  municipal solid waste collection, but the decision to implement variable rates is up to
                  localities. This study is an effort to judge  community perceptions of unit pricing. The
                  authors found that financial concerns (such as the cost of waste disposal or the solvency
                  of the collection service), a desire to encourage recycling and reduce waste, and grass-
                  roots lobbying efforts are all factors that can put unit pricing on a community's agenda.
                  The study showed that the three biggest problems with unit pricing are: citizen percep-
                  tions that trash service should be free, failure to recognize the benefits of unit pricing,
                  and fears about negative side effects, such  as illegal dumping and customer resistance.
                  The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and MassRecycle support
                  unit pricing at the community level by,  among other things, functioning as information
                  clearinghouses and addressing community concerns in statewide seminars.

Blume, Daniel. Under What Conditions Should Cities Adopt Volume-Based Pricing for
    Residential Solid Waste Collection? Master's Memo, Institute of Policy Sciences
    and Public Affairs, Duke University. May, 1991.
    A study of 14 communities with unit pricing programs. The study showed that these sys-
    tems reduced the amount of garbage produced in those cities and increased recycling
    activity with few significant problems. The paper also explored different features of unit
    pricing and their effectiveness, and assessed factors that would determine whether unit
    pricing was appropriate for a given community.

Browning, Marilyn; Becker, Jeanne. Volume-Based Garbage Collection Fees: An Analy-
    sis of Ten Illinois  Programs. A Report Prepared by Becker Associates, Inc. Novem-
    ber, 1990.
    A summary of the structure and components of 10 unit pricing programs in Illinois. A sur-
    vey of solid waste  officials in each of the 10 communities found that the use of commer-
    cial dumpsters for residential waste was, on average,,the most significant problem,
    receiving an average score of 2.9 on a scale of 1 to 5. The next most significant problem
    was insufficient revenue, followed by roadside dumping, uneven cash flow, and excessive
    garbage compaction. These problems can be addressed through better citizen education,
    locks on commercial dumpsters, the use of a minimum fee to cover fixed expenses,
    tougher enforcement ofanti-littering provisions, and strict limits on the weight of a pre-
    scription container or bag.

Canterbury, Janice. Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing of Munici-
    pal Solid Waste.  EPA Office of Solid Waste. EPA530-R-94-004. April, 1994.
    In December 1992, the EPA's Unit Pricing Roundtable met to discuss variable rates for
    waste collection. The result of that meeting is th/s guide for communities considering unit
    pricing. Before adopting variable:rates, a community needs to consider its waste manage-
    ment needs and whether the potential benefits of unit pricing, reduced waste, increased
    recycling, pricing equity, and greater environmental awareness will meet those needs. A
    community also must be aware of potential problems with unit pricing, including illegal
    dumping, higher costs, service to multi-unit housing complexes, and citizen resistance.
    When  designing a unit pricing system, a community must decide among container
    options, set a pricing structure, create a billing system, and design program options.
    Implementation of unit pricing must be accompanied by public educational and out-
    reach,  and program monitoring. The report contains a number of brief case studies and
    information about specific programs, and a roundtable discussion with a number of unit
    pricing experts.

              Cargo, Douglas R. Solid Wastes: Factors Influencing Generation Rates. Research
                  Paper No.  174. Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Department of Geography.
                  The author analyzed the 7968 National Survey of Community Solid Waste Practices to
                  determine actual amounts of waste generation. The survey assessed household and com-
                  mercial waste generation. Cargo found that the actual amounts of waste generation were
                  larger than EPA estimates. After employing regression analysis to determine the effects
                  of socio-economic variables on waste generation, he found that "greater solid waste gen-
                  eration rates occur in areas with large populations, with high densities, and occupied by
                  lower-income groups." While generation rates increase with city density and city popula-
                  tion size, they decrease with income.

              Chua, Dale H.H.; Laplante, Benoit. Litter and Waste Management: Disposal Taxes,
                  User Charges, and  Penalties. April, 1991.
                  The authors expand upon Ian Dobbs' 1991  report, which recommended a combination
                  of disposal fees on commercial products that would incorporate the potential cost of lit-
                  tering and of refunds for proper disposal of product waste. This report advocates the
                  addition of penalties for littering to further encourage the proper disposal of waste. It is a
                  completely theoretical piece that bases its findings on an economic model.

              Cuthbert, Richard. "Variable Disposal Fee Impact." Biocycle. May, 1994.
                  Six cose studies of unit pricing programs in Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Tacoma,  Wash-
                  ington, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and Bothel and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The article
                  described the structure of each program. The case studies were the result of a random
                  80-c/ty survey conducted by the author. Forty of the survey cities were large (100,000+)
                  and 40 had populations between 50,000 and 100,000. Sixty-eight percent had city-run
                  waste service, and 32 percent contracted out to a  private hauler. Thirty-five percent
                  financed their service from property taxes.  The other 65 percent used fees, and 13 of
                  those, or 16 percent of the survey group, had variable rates. The general conclusions of
                  the case studies were that unit pricing encourages waste reduction, that residents were
                  accepting of the variable rate systems, and that variable rates supported other waste
                  reduction activities, such as recycling.

              Dinan, Terry. "Solid Waste: Incentives That  Could  Lighten the Load." EPA Journal.
                  May/June, 1992.
                  Faced with increasing per capita waste generation and growing waste disposal costs, the
                  United States should consider pricing systems that provide an incentive to reduce
                  garbage. Unit pricing and disposal taxes ore two such systems. Unit pricing enables

    households to save money by limiting the amount of garbage they put out for collection.
    A study of three variable rate programs in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, ///on, New York, and
    Seott/e, Washington found that t/ie amount of waste landfilled or incinerated could signif-
    icantly decrease. The author provided no specific figures.

Dobbs, Ian M. "Litter and Waste Management: Disposal Taxes Versus User Charges."
    Canadian Journal of Economics. February, 1991.
    An examination of user charges and disposal taxes as waste management techniques.
    The author recommends a strategy that employs a combination of each. A user fee
    would recover the marginal cost of waste disposal, while a disposal tax with a refund for
    proper disposal would significantly reduce the potential for illegal dumping. The article is
    completely theoretical and bases its conclusions on an economic model.

Efaw, Fritz; Lanen, William. Impact of User Charges on Management of Household
    Solid Waste. Report prepared by Mathtech, Inc. August, 1979.
    The authors conducted case studies of five communities (Burbank and Sacramento, Cali-
    fornia, Provo, Utah, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Tacoma, Washington) to determine
    the effect of particular pricing systems for solid waste collection on waste generation.
    The report contains in-depth descriptions of each community's systems, three of which,
    those in Sacramento, Grand Rapids, and Tacoma, have some variable rate component.
    The authors concluded that while choices between types and levels of sanitation service
    may be sensitive to price, the quantity of waste generated at the household level may not
    be sensitive to price. In Tacoma, residents had a high price elasticity of demand with
    respect to the number of cans or the choice of backdoor pickup, but because of the
    availability of waste drop-off centers, the price elasticity of garbage production was not
    significant/y different than zero. The same was true in Grand Rapids and Sacramento.
    The report also found that as household income increases, so does the quantity of
    garbage produced.

Emmer, Terri; Neidhart, Jim. An Analysis of the Effects of Volume-Based Waste Dis-
    posal Fees on Consumer Behavior. Department of Resource Economics, Universi-
    ty of New Hampshire.
    The authors of this report surveyed residents of Dover, New Hampshire, to determine
    the effect of Dover's variable rate system on consumer behavior. The report concluded
    that unit pricing led to higher recycling participation rates and lower waste generation in
    Dover. The survey also found that while there was initially a wide range of consumer atti-
    tudes about recycling, 6 months into the program there was a convergence of attitudes
    and a more uniform level of commitment to the program's goals.

              Enos, Gary. "Residents Clean Up With Waste-Cutting Incentive." City and State. Feb-
                  ruary 25, 1991.
                  A study of three areas (Bellevue, Washington, Lansing, Michigan, and the state of Rhode
                  Island) that have either implemented or are considering implementing a variable rate sys-
                  tem. Bellevue and Lansing reported success with their systems. In Bellevue, more resi-
                  dents switched to a smaller can, and in Lansing, the amount of waste sent to the city
                  landfill fell by nearly 20 percent. The only difficulties with the system in either city
                  involved setting the rate structure and concern that if too many customers reduced their
                  waste too much, the waste haulers would not receive enough revenue to operate.

              Fletcher, Jeff. "Why  Unit Pricing Makes Sense for Solid Waste: U.S. Environmental
                  Protection Agency Project." Nation's Cities Weekly. October 19,  1992.
                  This article concerned EPA's plan to run  a unit pricing demonstration project. At that
                  time, the Agency was looking for communities interested in participating. The author con-
                  tends that variable rates send a more accurate pricing signal to waste generators than
                  traditional flat rate systems and encourage garbage reduction. They are also fairer than
                  flat rate systems, because residents that produce less garbage pay lower collection costs.

              Folz, David H. "Recycling Program Design, Management, and Participation: A National
                  Survey of Municipal Experience." Public Administration Review. May/June, 1991.
                  The author conducted a survey of 264 recycling coordinators to determine what factors
                  influence citizen participation in recycling programs. The study identified eleven specific
                  operational policies, of which variable rates for garbage collection was not one.  The sur-
                  vey showed that allowing public input during the planning and design process, mandating
                  recycling participation, providing curbside service and free bins, and utilizing public edu-
                  cation programs all contributed to higher participation rates. Same-day recycling and
                  garbage pickup, and permitting commingling did not seem to significantly impact partici-
                  pation rates.

              Fullerton, Don; Kinnaman, Thomas. Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping.
                  National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper # 4374. May, 1993.
                  Analysis of an economic model of household waste disposal behavior shows that given
                  three disposal options, collection, recycling, and illicit disposal, a unit fee would lead to
                  some burning or dumping. However, a disposal tax on products, coupled with rebates for
                  proper waste disposal, would encourage legal disposal of garbage. The study is purely
                  theoretical and involves no empirical data.

Fullerton, Don; Kinnaman, Thomas. Household Demand for Garbage and Recycling
    Collection with the Start of a Price per Bag. National Bureau of Economic
    Research Working Paper # 4670. March, 1994.
    A survey of a random sample of 75 Charlottesville, Virginia, households measured house-
    hold garbage generation before and after the city implemented a unit pricing system.
    The survey found that white recycling increased 15 percent and the volume of garbage
    was reduced by an average of 37 percent, the weight of garbage was only reduced 14
    percent. The authors concluded that residential trash compaction accounted for the dif-
    ference between the volume reduction and the weight reduction. The survey also showed
    that approximately 28 percent of the total reduction was accounted for by illegal dispos-
    al. The authors based this figure on respondents  that .indicated they used "other
    means," as opposed to recycling, composting, and demanding less packaging at stores,
    to reduce their waste.

Goldberg, Dan. "The Magic of Volume Reduction." Waste Age.  February, 1990.
    Unit pricing has led to reduced levels of garbage and increased recycling participation in
    several communities that have adopted the pricing system. In St.  Paul, Minnesota, house-
    hold participation in the recycling program increased on average from  15 percent to 32
    percent. In Olympic, Washington, there was a 50 percent increase in the number of resi-
    dents utilizing a smaller can. Illegal dumping is a potential concern with a unit pricing sys-
    tem, but it has not been a problem in  Perkasie, Pennsylvania, or Seattle, Washington.
    Generally, problems with the system appear when it is first implemented, and they can
    be quickly corrected. Finally, 93 percent of Perkasie residents who were asked their opin-
    ion of unit pricing approved of the system. It has met with similar citizen satisfaction in
    other communities.

Harder, Greg; Knox, Linda. "Implementing Variable Trash Collection Rates." Biocycle.
    April, 1992.
    Variable rate systems in 36 Pennsylvania communities have shown success at reducing
    garbage generation and encouraging recycling. Citizen education at the outset of a unit
    pricing program is a critical element of the system. Communities should a/so be aware of
    the potential for backyard burning or illegal dumping,* and take proactive steps to prevent
    such behavior. Other problems common to the 36 municipalities  in this report were: bags
    that tear or are attacked by animals, tags that fall off, illegal grass dumping, service to
    apartments, and the use of counterfeit bags. The authors present case stud»'es of Carlisle,
    Perkasie, and Forest City. They also describe the failure of unit pricing in Nanticoke,
    which lost 68 percent of its municipal  customers when it switched to variable rates. The
    failure seemed largely due to the lack  of a curbside recycling program in the town.

              Hayes, Jeffrey. "Let the Market Replace the Madness: How to Control Rising Solid
                  Waste." Public Works. December, 1992.
                  The author advocates variable rate pricing as a tool to reduce waste. Variable rates not
                  only encourage recycling, but they also induce garbage reduction, a preferable waste
                  management strategy. Under unit pricing, Somersworth and Dover, New Hampshire,
                  have reduced their residential waste by 50 percent. The structure of variable rate sys-
                  tems vary with different receptacles and different pricing schemes.

              Hong, Seonghoon. An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes:
                  The Case of Portland, Oregon. Ph.D. Dissertation. Department of Agriculture and
                  Resource Economics. Ohio State University. November 21, 1991.
                  The outhor designed a model of household waste generation behavior and applied it to
                  Portland, Oregon, to see how a marginal pricing system, as well as other socio-economic
                  /actors, affect recycling behavior and the demand for garbage collection services. The
                  analysis showed that increasing the price of collection increased household recycling par-
                  ticipation, but did not significantly reduce demand for garbage collection services. Educa-
                  tion level and value of time were also significant factors influencing households' degree of
                  recycling participation. Income was a determinant of total waste generation, but demand
                  for collection services was inelastic with respect to income.

              Jenkins, Robin. The Economics of Solid Waste Reduction. Edward Elgar Publishing,
                  Ltd., 1993.
                  This book grew out of Jenkins' dissertation on the same subject.  The author presents a
                  model for residential waste generation that shows that user fees can have a significant
                  impact on the level of waste generation, and that society's welfare gain from switching to
                  unit pricing is substantial. The book also looks at commercial generation of solid waste
                  and concludes that increasing already existing unit fees can have a significant impact on
                  waste generation levels. The book contains a literature review, models of household and
                  firm waste generation behavior, demand equations for residential and commercial waste
                  collection services, descriptions of the elements of the model, and the results of manipu-
                  lating the model. The author studied five unit pricing communities (San Francisco, Cali-
                  fornia, Estherville,  and Highbridge, New Jersey, and Seattle and Spokane, Washington)
                  and four flat fee communities (Hillsborough County and St. Petersburg, Florida, Howard
                  County, Maryland, and Bernalillo County, New Mexico).

Kemper, Peter; Quigley, John M. The Economics of Refuse Collection. Ballinger Pub-
    lishing Company, Cambridge, MA. 1976.
    The authors provide a general overview of the economic issues in waste collection. Chapter
    five surveys the issues involved in a system employing user charges. They compare user
    charges to two other financing mechanisms: general revenues and service fees. The chapter
    addresses efficiency in theory, equity, federal income tax deducibility, revenue from tax-
    exempt institutions, and efficiency in practice. The authors note that "true user charges are
    rare" and do not provide much  empirical evidence of the issues they discussed.

Lambert, Abigail F. Rate Proposal for a Weight-Based Pricing System  for Residential
    Waste  Collection in Durham, North Carolina. Master's Project, School of the
    Environment,  Duke University. 1991.
    The author contends that the city of Durham, North Carolina, which currently funds resi-
    dential garbage collection through general property tax revenues, ought to consider
    implementing weight-based rates to finance its collection service. Weight-based rates
    would send a more accurate pricing signal to city residents and might reduce waste and
    encourage recycling. Five issues that the city would need to be aware of before imple-
    menting a variable rate system are the need for political support and aggressive public
    education, the  impact of variable fees on low-income residents, potential problems with
    illegal dumping, and necessary departmental changes. Lambert conducted an economic
    analysis of Durham's waste management system, considering collection costs, disposal
    costs, the added costs of a weight-based system, and estimated environmental and social
    costs. Based on this analysis, Lambert presented five options for a weight-based rate
    structure. She recommended a system that uses variable fees to cover landfill disposal
    costs, including environmental and social costs, and continues to finance the other costs
    of waste collection through property taxes. Such a system would give some price incen-
    tive to residents, but would still provide a stable revenue stream for the co/lection system.
    The author a/so recommended reduced rates for lower-income residents.

Lewis, Thomas A. "Waste Not, Want Not." National Wildlife. June/July, 1993.
    As landfills across the country approach capacity, disposal costs rise, and per capita
    waste generation continues to increase, source reduction has become a top priority for
    solid waste managers. Recycling is gaining popularity, both among solid waste officials
    and private citizens. Unit pricing provides an inducement to recycle, and to reduce the
    amount of waste put out for co/tection. Seattle, Washington, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania,
    have both had successful variable rate systems.

               Menell, Peter S. "Beyond the Throwaway Society: An Incentive Approach to Regulat-
                  ing Municipal Solid Waste." Ecology Law Quarterly. Vol. 17, 655.1990.
                  Traditional pricing systems for garbage collection do not provide incentives for reducing
                  waste or manufacturing products that produce less waste. The authors use an economic
                  framework to analyze a variety of policy options for correcting this market distortion. The
                  article provides an overview of the waste stream and available technologies for collecting
                  and regulating waste, describes traditional flat rate or tax financed systems for funding
                  waste disposal, and examines alternative methods,  including curbside charges,  retail dis-
                  posal charges, and two-tier charges. According to the economic model, variable rate pric-
                  ing and/or retail charges based on the disposal cost of different products are the best
                  waste management strategies. They provide an accurate pricing signal to households and
                  product suppliers. Local governments are best suited for designing the ideal solid waste
                  regulatory system for their specific localities. The federal government can provide infor-
                  mation and correct macroeconomic distortions, and the states can coordinate  various
                  local policies. The article is primarily theoretical, although it does briefly describe unit
                  pricing systems in Seattle, Washington, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania.

               Miedema, Allen K. "Fundamental Economic Comparisons of Solid Waste Policy
                  Options." Resources and Energy. Vol. 5.  1983.
                  The author developed a macroeconomic model to analyze the effects of several waste
                  management policy mechanisms. Miedema compared user fees, recycling subsidies, dis-
                  posal charges, and litter taxes to the status quo (i.e., none of these policy mechanisms
                  were in effect). He analyzed the real income effects, net waste effects, waste generation
                  and resource recovery effects, and recycling rate effects  for these four policy tools given
                  three different policy scenarios (the scenarios varied according to hypothesized changes
                  in the diseconomies of scale for recycled materials suppliers and virgin materials suppli-
                  ers). He found that user fees and litter taxes always had  the same effects. The disposal
                  charge always had a larger real income effect and the smallest net waste collected and
                  disposed. In two out of the three simulations, the disposal charge had the highest recy-
                  cling rate, while the recycling subsidy had the highest recycling rate in the simulation
                  characterized by greater diseconomies of scale for virgin  materials suppliers.

               Miller, Chaz.  "Pay as You Throw: Less Weight? More Stuffing!" Waste Age. Septem-
                  ber, 1993.
                  Unit pricing has been touted as a way for municipalities to encourage higher recycling par-
                  ticipation and reduce household waste generation. However, the system can also encour-
                  age overstuffing of garbage receptacles, illegal burning and dumping, and contamination

    of recycling receptacles with nonrecyc/oWe material. Can-based systems hove complicated
    billing requirements. On the other hand, bogs can tear and tags can be separated from
    set-outs. Furthermore, variable rates may be unfair to lower-income residents, and political
    support for unit pricing is lacking in many areas. The author contends that there is no con-
    clusive evidence that variable fees reduce residential waste generation. He bases most of
    his conclusions on anecdotal evidence and interviews with a few solid waste professionals.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. State Solid Waste Policy Report: A Focus on
    Greater Minnesota.
    A review of Minnesota's waste management system.  The report examines historical and
    contemporary statewide programs, county initiatives, industrial and residential waste gen-
    eration trends, waste collection and transportation systems, and collection system costs.
    The report also highlights public education efforts, and waste reduction, recycling, com-
    posting, waste-to-energy, and land disposal programs. Unit pricing is reviewed briefly, and
    St. Louis Park, a unit pricing town, is mentioned in the report.

Miranda, Marie Lynn;  Everett, Jess W.; Blume, Daniel; Roy, Barbeau A., Jr. "Market-
    Based Incentives and Residential  Municipal Solid Waste." Journal of Policy Analysis
    and Management. Vol.  13,  No. 4. 1994.
    The authors gathered waste generation data from 21 unit pricing communities. The data
    showed municipal waste generation before and after the implementation of variable
    rates. The  overage reduction in tonnage of waste landftiled was 40 percent, w/th a high
    of 74 percent  and a low of 17 percent. Recycling increased, on average, by 126 percent,
    with a high of 456 percent and a low of 3 percent.  The average reduction in overall waste
    generation was 40 percent, with an average recycling rate of 19 percent. Even account-
    ing for illegal disposal and measurement error, the authors concluded that some of the
    waste reduction must have resulted from source reduction behavior. There were few
    problems among the 21 municipalities with illegal dumping. Burning was a problem in
    three of the cities, but it seemed to only account for about 20 percent of the total waste
    reduction.  Burning stopped in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, when the city adopted an antiburn-
    ing ordinance.

Moriarty, Patrick. "Financing Waste Collection for Maximum  Diversion." Biocycle. Jan-
    uary, 1994.
    Illinois has  set  a statewide waste diversion mandate  of 25 percent by 1996. The author sur-
    veys 23 municipalities in the Chicago area to determine how localities are responding to
    the mandate. Seven of the 23 communities have changed their rate structures since 1988,

                  six of them adopting some form of variable collection fees. The average fee among the flat
                  rate communities was $11.60, while the average per-bag fee in Downers Grove, Hoffman
                  Estates, and LaCrange Park was $1.40. Thus, members of a household that put out less
                  than two bags of garbage per week under the variable fee systems would spend less for
                  waste collection than they would have under a flat rate system. The unit pricing communi-
                  ties also had higher recycling participation rates than the flat fee communities, and higher
                  percentages of total waste recycled.  The average tonnage recycled for flat fee communi-
                  ties was 18 percent, while for Hoffman Estates it was 31 percent and for Downers Grove it
                  was 28 percent.  The author also provided a case study of Hoffman Estates that described
                  that community's program.

              Morns. Glenn E.; Holthausen, Duncan M., Jr. "The Economics of Household Solid
                  Waste Generation and  Disposal." Journal of Environmental Economics and  Man-
                  agement. Vol. 26.1994.
                  The authors designed a model of household waste disposal behavior, taking into account
                  various disposal  options (including garbage pickup, recycling, and source reduction) and
                  fee levels, both flat and variable. The simulation showed that households' elasticity of
                  demand with respect to price for solid waste collection services varied significantly with
                  the price of that service. Supported by actual waste and demographic data from
                  Perkasie, Pennsylvania, the  model showed that a typical household's utility was higher
                  with variable rates than with a fixed rate system. Furthermore, as the user charge
                  increased, households responded with greater waste minimization behavior and less recy-
                  cling. Emphasizing one type of disposal option, recycling, for example, could dampen
                  households' incentive to pursue another type, such as source reduction.

              "New Jersey Town Weighs in on Trash by the Pound: Mendham, New Jersey." World
                  Wastes. February, 1993.
                  This article presents an interview with the recycling coordinator of Mendham Township,
                  New Jersey. Mendham switched to variable rates after its successful recycling program
                  reduced residents' need for garbage collection services. The town went from two collec-
                  tions to one each week and its households each saved an average of $200 annually. Recy-
                  cling increased 83 percent,  garbage was reduced 55 percent, and the town has saved
                  money. The town has not experienced dumping or other significant problems. According
                  to the coordinator, before adopting unit pricing, a municipality should consider whether a
                  majority of residents will  benefit financially from the system. The community might also
                  want to consider having a base charge to cover fixed collection costs, and basing the vari-
                  able rates on the city's disposal  costs.

Morris, James L. "Recycling and Computerized Garbage Tracking Cut City's Costs."
    Public Works. February, 1994.
    Athens, Ohio, facing a state-mandated 25 percent waste reduction goal, adopted a multi-
    tiered rate system for garbage collection to induce greater participation in the town's recy-
    cling program. Since its inception in 1982, the curbside recycling program has already
    reduced waste by as much as 50 percent. Athens also has a computerized billing system
    that keeps track of the amount of garbage each resident puts out for collection each week.
    The system is easy to use and has eliminated inaccuracies resulting from human error.

Owen, Melissa.  "Integrated Waste Minimization (With Composting)." Biocycle.
    April, 1994.
    Piano, Texas, has an aggressive yard waste diversion program. The program includes a
    "Don't Bag It" Lawn Care Plan, which reduced yard trimmings collection by 50 percent
    from 1991 to 1993, a backyard composting program, and biodegradable collection bags
    (20 for $5). Collected yard waste goes to a  centralized composting facility. Piano's waste
    management system also includes a higher garbage collection fee for household waste in
    excess of the city-provided 95 Ib container.

"Pay-As-You-Throw Shows  Rapid Growth."  Biocycle. August, 1993.
    A recent Reason Foundation study shows that over 1,000 communities have adopted
    some form of variable rate pricing for garbage collection, and the number is rapidly
    increasing. Moreover, the towns report overage reductions of 25 percent to 45 percent in
    the amount of waste sent to disposal facilities.

Project 88 - Round II.  Incentives for Action:  Designing Market-Based  Environmental
    Strategies. A Policy Symposium  Sponsored by Senator Timothy Wirth and Sena-
    tor John Heinz. May, 1991.
    The symposium explored market-based soiutions to environmenta/ problems. Unit pricing
    was examined as a way to reduce waste generation by providing a better pricing signal to
    residents than traditional flat rate systems. While variable rates are implemented at the
    local level, the federal government can act as an information clearinghouse and can facili-
    tate local efforts to implement unit pricing. Seattle, Washington, and Perkasie, Pennsylva-
    nia, have both experienced success with unit pricing, and problems like illegal dumping
    and the disparate impact of variable fees can be alleviated with proactive efforts on the
    part of the municipality. Perkasie reduced billing costs by using bags instead of varying
    prescription can sizes.

              Reschovcky, James D.; Stone, Sarah E. "Market Incentives to Encourage Household
                  Waste Recycling: Paying for What You Throw Away." Journal of Policy Analysis
                  and Management. Vol. 13, No. 1. Winter, 1994.
                  Unit pricing, which sends a more accurate pricing signal to households than traditional
                  flat collection fees, has reduced waste and encouraged recycling in cities like Seattle,
                  Washington, and High Bridge, New Jersey. There are, however, practical concerns with
                  unit pricing: rates are difficult to set, revenues are hard to predict, illegal dumping could
                  occur, administrative costs may be high, variables fees could have a regressive impact on
                  low-income residents, common receptacles in multi-unit housing complexes preclude
                  application of variable rates, and politicians may be unwilling to risk unpopularity. The
                  authors studied unit pricing in Tompkins County, New York. They surveyed 3,040 random
                  households and performed a statistical analysis of the survey results. They found that
                  curbside service had the greatest impact on recycling participation. While variable rates
                  alone seemed to have only a minor impact, the combination of unit fees, curbside ser-
                  vice, and mandatory recycling had the largest impact on participation. The survey was
                  unclear on the potentially regressive impact of variable fees, and it found no evidence
                  that the pricing system encouraged illegal dumping, although 51 percent of the residents
                  surveyed said littering had increased, and 20 percent said they burned their trash. Two-
                  thirds of the respondents said they favored unit pricing.

              Richard, Bill. "Recycling in  Seattle  Sets National Standard but Is Hitting Snags." Wall
                  Street  Journal. August 3,1993.
                  The author contends that Seattle will have trouble reaching its 60 percent recycling goal.
                  According to the article, most avenues for increasing the rate of recycling have been
                  exhausted, and it will require draconian measures to make 60 percent. The article also
                  questioned the savings the city was receiving from recycling, and said there was a glut in
                  the market  for recyclables. Finally, the author provided anecdotal evidence that residents
                  were stomping on their garbage,  rather than actually reducing it or recycling more.

              Richardson, Robert A.; Havlicek, Jr., Joseph. "Economic Analysis of the Composition
                  of Household Solid Wastes." Journal of Environmental Economics and Manage-
                  ment.  Vol. 5.  1978.
                  The authors analyze the social and economic factors that affect the quantity and compo-
                  sition of the household solid waste stream. The weekly per capita and per household
                  quantities of eleven household waste components were analyzed: dear glass, green glass,
                  brown glass, aluminum, other metals, newsprint, other paper, textiles, plastics, grass,
                  and garbage/other. Waste generation is positively correlated with  income, age, and

    household size, and negatively correlated with ethnic background (percentage of black
    households in a census track). Results indicate that if glass, plastics, textiles, paper, and
    metals were recovered through recycling and incineration for energy production, around
    53 percent of the summer household waste stream could be diverted from landfills. The
    economic feasibility of such resource recovery was not discussed.

Savas, E.S.; Baumol, Daniel; Wells, William. "Financing Solid Waste Collection." The
    Organization and Efficiency of Solid Waste Collection. Lexington Books. 1977.
    This is a chapter in Savas' book. The authors examined the effect of different methods of
    financing solid waste collection on the amount of residential waste generated and the
    cost of the collection service. They relied on a survey of private citizens living in communi-
    ties with a variety of collection systems. According to the survey, variable rates had little
    effect on either the amount of waste generated or the level of service requested. They
    also found that unit fees, whether flat or variable, increased billing costs for municipali-
    ties. Finally, they found that because local taxes are deductible from federal income tax
    returns, there was an incentive for communities to raise taxes to pay for garbage collec-
    tion rather than institute user fees. These findings were based on comparisons of waste
    generation figures, service levels, and collection costs across tax financed, flat fee, and
    variable fee collection systems.

Scarlett, Lynn.  Mandates or Incentives? Comparing Packaging Regulations with User
    Fees for Trash Collection.  Reason Foundation. Publication No. 158. May, 1993.
    U.S. and Massachusetts solid waste management policy is beginning  to address the
    nation's growing garbage crisis by stressing source reduction and recycling. Massachu-
    setts is considering a state-level initiative that would set recycled content requirements for
    consumer products and require reusable, reduced, or recycled packaging. An alternative
    market-based solution is unit pricing for residential waste collection. Unit pricing would
    create an incentive among consumers to source reduce, and that would cause producers
    to respond with reduced or recyclable packaging and products. The author reviews prob-
    lems with recycling markets and reports on the success of unit pricing in communities like
    Perkasie, Pennsylvania, and Seattle, Washington. She identifies illegal disposal, garbage
    compaction, citizen resistance, and the impact of variable fees on low-income residents
    as outstanding issues. The author conducts a cost-benefit comparison of packaging man-
    dates and user fees for trash collection. She compares the reduced waste benefits of
    each system and their implementation costs. The author concludes that unit pricing can
    have a greater impact on the waste stream than packaging mandates, and it would be
    $210 to $215 cheaper per household each year.

              "Seattle Engineers Say: Variable Can Rate Encourages Recycling." Waste Age. Novem-
                  ber, 1985.
                  Since the start of unit pricing in Seattle in 1980, recycling tonnage has increased 60 per-
                  cent. Also, the city's per capita waste generation rate climbed more slowly than other
                  cities' rates. Moreover, 80 percent of the city's residents favor the system, and it had a
                  91.5 percent compliance rate.

              "Seattle Stomp." Garbage. Spring, 1994.
                  A short description of the "Seott/e stomp" phenomenon. Residents in Seottle and other
                  unit pricing communities compact their trash to avoid higher collection fees. The author
                  makes no effort to quantify the problem. Strategies to combat the "stomp" include
                  weight-based fees and instructing haulers to not collect receptacles that are  overloaded.

              Shanoff, Barry.  "Communities Switch to By-the-Bag Billing System." World Wastes.
                  October,  1992.
                  A report on the successes of unit pricing in several communities with variable rate sys-
                  tems. Utica,  New York, Chester Township, New Jersey, Stonington, Connecticut, and
                  Seott/e,  Washington, have a/1 adopted unit pricing. Each community's system has differ-
                  ent features  and different fee schedules. Proponents of variable rates argue that it is fair-
                  er than flat fees: those that produce less trash should be able to pay less. In some unit
                  pricing communities, residents that reduce their waste pay significantly lower garbage
                  collection fees than they did under a flat rate system. Unit pricing can also encourage
                  illegal dumping, but localities have responded by locking commercial dumpsters.

              Sherman, Steven. "Local  Government Approaches to Source Reduction."  Resource
                  Recycling. September, 1991.
                  In recent years, solid waste management policy has emphasized source reduction as a
                  waste management strategy. Decreased solid waste generation can be accomplished by:
                  reduced product weight or volume, reduced packaging, increased product durability,
                  alterations in consumer purchasing patterns, greater efficiency in manufacturing process-
                  es, composting and other organic waste reduction techniques, and changes  in the waste
                  stream making it less hazardous. Strategies available to local governments to encourage
                  waste reduction include public education, economic incentives, legislative mandates, on-
                  s/te composting, and hazardous waste reduction. One of the economic incentives the
                  author mentions is unit pricing. Unit pricing can be implemented by using metered bags
                  or tags,  or subscription containers. It provides a clear pricing signal to households that
                  can lead to source reduction and increased recycling participation. It also influences con-
                  sumer behavior, which will cause producers to respond with reduced product packaging.

Skumatz, Lisa A. Variable Rates for Municipal Solid Waste: Implementation Experience.
    Economics, and Legislation. Reason Foundation. Publication No. 160. June, 1993.
    Unit pricing programs have a variety of different features. They can use bags, tags, or pre-
    scription cans, they may be city-run or contracted out to a private hauler, they are often
    accompanied by various complementary programs, including curbside recycling and back-
    yard composting, and they sometimes have special features for servicing multi-unit housing
    or helping low-income residents. Successfully implementing unit pricing requires political
    support, the involvement of all concerned parties, citizen education, and program flexibili-
    ty. Variable rates in cities like Seattle, Washington, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania, have
    reduced landfilled waste and increased recycling participation. Concerns about the pro-
    gram include illegal dumping, backyard burning, and unstable hauler revenues. Three
    states, Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, have laws requiring variable fees for waste
    collection. Indiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Vermont, Illinois, and Montana all
    encourage local authorities to use unit pricing.  The author lays out four steps for evaluat-
    ing the performance of a unit pricing program: 1) determine the level of participation, 2)
    measure any changes in residential waste disposal patterns, 3) assess the linkage between
    variable rates and the observed changes in disposal behavior, and 4) identify the net bene-
    fit and cost effectiveness of the program.

Skumatz, Lisa; Van Dusen, Hans;  Carton, Jennie. "Garbage  by the Pound: Ready  to
    Roll with Weight Based Fees." Biocycle. November, 1994.
    Severol communities across the country have run weight-based pricing pilot programs.
    They include Seattle, Washington, Columbia, South Carolina, Durham, North Carolina,
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Farmington and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Residents partici-
    pating in Seattle's program reduced their waste, by weight, an extra 15 percent. Collec-
    tion times did not increase in Columbia during its pilot study. The scales used in
    Durham's test did not meet some accuracy standards, but those deficiencies have since
    been corrected by the manufacturer. Milwaukee was scheduled to run a test in the fall of
    1994, and Farmington and Minneapolis, though their pilot studies went well, have put
    plans to fully implement weight-based rates on hold. Though weight-based systems incur
    high initial costs, communities can achieve long-term savings  from reduced waste.

Skumatz, Lisa A.; Zach, Philip A.  "Community Adoption of Variable Rates:
    An Update." Resource Recycling. June,  1993.
    Spread across 26 states, variable rate systems ore often adopted in response to increasing
    tipping fees, a desire to increase recycling efforts, and statewide or regional diversion
    requirements. Some of the issues involved with implementing a variable rate system include
    its compatibility with the existing collection system, the size of the community, illegal dump-

                  ing, and multi-family housing facilities. Political support for the system is crucial, design plan-
                  ning is important, and the system should include a strong citizen education effort.

              Sproule, Kimberly A.; Cosulich, Jeanne M. "Higher Recovery Rates: The Answer's in
                  the Bag." Resource Recycling. November/December, 1988.
                  The authors surveyed 12 per-unit fee systems, and the article describes five of them: Hol-
                  land, Michigan, Perkasie, Pennsylvania, Woodstock, Illinois, Newport, New York, and High
                  Bridge, New Jersey. It also provides basic information, such as container type, fee, and com-
                  plementary programs offered, for all 12. The five cities described in the article all reported
                  success with their systems, a/though reduction rates are not given for all of them.

              Stavins, Robert N. "Market Forces Can Help Lower Waste Volumes." Forum for
                  Applied Research and Public Policy. Spring, 1993.
                  In response to tougher federal regulations and the need for more effective waste man-
                  agement strategies, communities have experimented with a number of innovative sys-
                  tems. They /nc/ude different pricing schemes for waste collection services, including unit
                  pricing, retail disposal charges and virgin material charges, traceable permits for indus-
                  try-wide recycling mandates, and a deposit/refund system for discouraging illegal disposal
                  of waste. The author uses Seattle's unit pricing system as an example.

              Stevens, Barbara. Pricing Schemes for Refuse Collection Services: The Impact on
                  Refuse Generation. Research Paper No. 154. Columbia University Graduate
                  School of Business. January, 1977.
                  A variable rate pricing scheme is administratively feasible, and it would convey to con-
                  sumers the true cost of waste disposal. The author uses an  economic model of household
                  waste generation behavior to predict the effect of variable rates for refuse collection on
                  the demand for those services. She also conducted a survey of 93  cities with variable fee
                  systems. She found that for a 70 percent increase in the price of collection, demand for
                  service went down 9 percent. However,  refuse generation only decreased by 0.5 percent
                  to  1.17 percent.

              Stone, Sarah; Harrison,  Ellen. "Residents Favor User Fees." Biocycle. August, 1991.
                  Tompkins County, New York, has a county-wide unit pricing program for waste collection.
                  The authors surveyed 3,034 randomly selected households in the county and received a
                  49 percent response rate. Sixty-three percent of the respondents were "very much in
                  favor" or "somewhat in favor" of the county's variable fee system. Fifty-one percent said
                  they recycled more because of the program, 16 percent said they composted more, and
                  39 percent said they were more attentive to product packaging when they shopped.

"Taking the Innovative Approach to Waste Hauling." Biocycle. July, 1993.
    Tom Kraemer Sanitation Co. provides collection service to a half-dozen small towns in
    Minnesota near St. Cloud. The hauler charges a flat base rate and sells tags for each 30-
    gallon container put out for collection. It also uses a truck-based co-co//ection system for
    garbage and curbside recycling. The hauler saves money from reduced disposal costs,
    and brings in increased revenue from the sale of recyclables.

U.S. Conference of Mayors. A Primer on Variable Rate Pricing for Solid Waste Ser-
    vices. June, 1994.
    An introductory brochure for municipalities considering a unit pricing system. Unit pricing
    passes variable waste disposal costs onto the household producers of garbage. It encour-
    ages waste reduction and increased recycling. It is fair,  it helps to conserve landfill space,
    and it increases collection efficiency. Unit pricing systems can use prescription cans,
    bags, or tags, and can  be based on weight, volume, or  a hybrid of flat  rates and variable
    rates.  Implementation  issues include ensuring sufficient revenues, the impact on poor
    residents, illegal dumping, public acceptance, recycling contamination, and service to
    multi-unit housing. To develop a successful program, localities must clearly define their
    goals, develop a complete plan, start with a pilot study, obtain political support, and
    develop a public education strategy.

U.S. EPA. "EPA Probe of Household Waste Reduction  to Focus on Per Volume
    Charge." Inside EPA. August 10.1990.
    This article concerns EPA's evaluation of the pros and cons of variable rate pricing to
    determine if the Agency should recommend it as a waste reduction incentive. The EPA
    study involved weighing the costs and benefits of unit pricing, as compared to flat rate
    pricing for garbage collection service. Unit pricing provides a dearer pricing signal to
    households, but it could also lead to illegal waste disposal and higher administrative costs.
    The Agency is unlikely to seek national unit pricing legislation, but may incorporate vari-
    able rates into its waste reduction guidelines for localities.

U.S. EPA. Waste Prevention. Recycling, and Composting Options: Lessons Learned
    from 30 Communities. EPA530-R-92-015. February, 1994.
    This report focused on various strategies for municipalities to reduce net waste through
    composting, recycling,  and education. The report details approaches to increase levels of
    composting and recycling, as well as improving materials recovery from commercial activ-
    ities and construction.  The report provides a brief overview of variable refuse rates, and
    further comments on the positive effects of variable pricing on recycling participation

                  and source reduction. Three additional volumes provide case studies on rural areas, sub-
                  urbs and small cities, and urban areas.

              Wertz, Kenneth. "Economic Factors Influencing Households' Production of Refuse."
                  Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Vol. 2. 1976.
                  The author uses a series of economic models to determine the impact of several waste
                  collection service options on the level of household garbage generation. He also surveys
                  six communities in the Detroit area and studies the collection system in San Francisco.
                  There is an economic externality associated with traditional flat rate pricing systems for
                  waste collection. Flat rates do not take into account the marginal disposal cost of incre-
                  mental levels of garbage. Increasing flat rates somewhat decrease  waste generation, but
                  only through an income effect. There will be no substitution to lower waste generating
                  behavior. However, variable rate pricing will more directly encourage waste reduction.
                  The author a/so concluded that waste generation increases with income, with more fre-
                  quent municipal collection service, and with less convenient collection sites (i.e., curbside
                  rather than backdoor).

              Zimmerman, Elliott. Solid Waste Management Alternatives: Review of Policy Options
                  to Encourage Waste Reduction. A Report  to the Illinois Department of Energy and
                  Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Affairs Division. February, 1988.
                  Waste reduction should be a top priority for the state of Illinois. Unit pricing is one finan-
                  cial incentive that could be used by localities to encourage households to reduce garbage
                  put-outs and increase waste reduction and diversion efforts. There are three potential
                  drawbacks to this pricing method. First, a 1979 EPA study found no statistically significant
                  relationship between variable rates and garbage generation, so unit pricing might not
                  have an impact on residential waste. Also, user fees, unlike property taxes, are not
                  deductible from federal tax returns, so residents could lose money in increased tax pay-
                  ments. Finally,  federal revenue sharing arrangements do not take into account user fees
                  as local tax revenue, so municipalities could lose federal support by lowering property
                  taxes in favor of variable  rates.

Additional Sources of Information

  Angelo, James J. Should Brevard County, Florida Adopt a Unit Pricing Program for
      Municipal Solid Waste? Undergraduate Honors Project; Sanford Institute of Public
      Policx, Duke University. April, 1993.

  Felton, Mary K. "A Snapshot of Waste Generation and Recovery." Resource Recy-
      cling. January, 1995.

  Fiske, Gary S. "Rates: A Powerful Tool to Reduce the Waste Stream." Solid Waste
      and Power. March/April, 1992.

  Franklin Associates, Ltd. The Role of Recycling in Integrated Solid Waste Management
      to the Year 2000. Prepared for Keep America Beautiful, Inc. September, 1994.

  Guerrieri, Tony M. An Assessment of Unit Pricing for Municipal Solid Waste. A
      Report for the Pennsylvania Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and
      Conservation Committee. September, 1994.

  Hong, Seonghoon. An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes:
      The Case of Portland, Oregon.  PhD Dissertation. Department of Agriculture and
      Resource Economics, Ohio State University. November 21,1991.

  Jenkins, Robin. Municipal Demand for Solid Waste Disposal Services: The Impact of User
      Fees. PhD Dissertation. Department of Economics, University of Maryland. 1991.

  Miranda, Mane Lynn; Aldy, Joseph E. Unit Pricing of Residential Municipal Solid
      Waste: Lessons from Nine Case Study Communities. School of the Environment,
      Duke University. 1995.

  Skumatz, Lisa A. "Introducing the Hybrid Variable Rate System." Biocycle.
      November, 1993.

  Toomey, William A. "Meeting the Challenges of Yard Trimmings Diversion." Biocycle.
      May, 1994.

     Rates Model

For planners considering pay-as-you-throw, establishing an effective rate structure—one that generates enough revenues
to cover the costs of MSW services—can be a real challenge. There are several different methods, however, that you
can use to come up with the right container prices.

If you're in a community with a complex array of MSW services or need to ensure that all program costs are com-
pletely covered, the Pay-As-You-Throw Rates Model software (now called the Pay-As-You-Throw RateMaker) may be a
useful tool for you. Designed to enable planners to input all relevant  costs and arrive at the optimal per-bag or per-can
fees, RateMaker Version 1.0 is currently under development. If you would like to receive a copy of this
tool when it becomes available, please complete and return the order form at the bottom of this

Some communities may opt for a different approach. If you're in a smaller community or are not required to cover all
costs with your per-container fees, you might simply consult with neighboring cities and towns (or communities else-
where in the country with similar demographics) that already use pay-as-you-throw, adjusting their prices as needed to
arrive at an appropriate rate structure.

Other options for developing a rate structure are included in this tool kit. In the Guidebooks section, you can refer to
Part III of Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing for information and advice on rate structure design. In
addition, the Pay-As-You-Throw Workbook in the Workbook section of this tool kit contains worksheets (beginning on
page 121) that can help you arrive at rates based on local demographic and solid waste generation data.

EPA is continuing to develop materials for communities that have or  are considering implementing a pay-as-you-throw
program. Be sure to visit our homepage at www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/payt for the latest information.
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                              U.S. EPA Pay-As-You-Throw
                              MO Hartwell Avenue
                              Lexington, MA 02I73
                              Fax: 6I7-674-285I


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• PC-compatibisS running Microsoft.-   •   Crty/State/Zip_
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                                                                You can also order by phone.
                                                                Call the Pay-As-You-Throw
                                                                Helpline toll-free at I -888-EPA-PAYT.