Type of Community:
   Type of Program:
Program Start Date:

 The success of both
   the volume-based
 disposal system and
       the enhanced
recycling facility has
         exceeded all
                       PAY-AS-YOU-THROW  SUCCESS  STORIES
                       South   KingStOWn,  Rhode  Island


Drop-off, Tags

August 1994
With pay-as-you-throw, the average family
 of four has reduced its solid  waste stream
 to  one tagged  bag of waste and one bag
                       of recyclables per week,
                       Getting Started: Why Pay-As-You-Throw?
                        Solid waste for South Kingstown and its
                        regional partner Narragansett is processed
                        at the town's Rose Hill Regional Transfer
                        Station (RHRTS). Given the community's
                        oceanfront shoreline, the approximate year-
                        round population of 22,000 residents swells
                        to an estimated 30,000 persons in the sum-
                        mer months. Residents of both communities
                        can  dispose of solid waste by either con-
                        tracting with a private refuse hauler or by
                        directly accessing the transfer station.
                        After facility operations began at RHRTS in
                        1983, the disposal cost to "direct access" resi-
                        dential users continued to escalate. This
                        increase in disposal costs was due in part to
                        increasing tipping fees, higher processing costs,
                                     and abuse of a flat-rate annual vehicle pass
                                     program, which provided unlimited disposal
                                     with little or no incentive to recycle materials.
                                     Because of these concerns, South Kingstown
                                     and Narragansett initiated a volume-based tag
                                     solid waste disposal system and a voluntary
                                     source reduction recycling program for
                                     RHRTS residential users.

                                     How Does  It Work?
                                     Under the tag solid waste disposal system,
                                     each residential user directly accessing the
                                     transfer station is required to purchase
                                     refuse tags ($10.00 for 10 tags) for solid
                                     waste disposal. Residential RHRTS customers
                                     place a tag on each garbage bag


                        Town of South Kingstown, Rhode Isb
           It! +)'.-'
                                             P.O- Box 31
                                               R| 02*afrOOJ1

                                             July 18,'996
                                TOWN OF SOUTH KINGSTON

                              PAY-AS-YOU-THROW TE'


(35-pound/33-gallon limit) prior to dispos-
al. Refuse tags were chosen in lieu of bags
to provide residents free choice with
regard to the size and type of refuse bag
they were accustomed to using.
Some  residents continue to  use trash
cans for refuse disposal. The RHRTS
operates as  a solid waste enterprise
fund, and operational costs are covered
by the cost  of the refuse tags.
Utilization of the  recycling center by
residential RHRTS users continues to
remain a voluntary decision.  Residents
who maximize their recycling efforts
can minimize tag  purchases and reduce
their overall solid waste disposal costs.
RHRTS residential users with wasteful
disposal habits who choose not to
recycle must consequently purchase
additional tags.

Complementary  Programs
Residential users can dispose  of bulky
waste and yard waste at a rate of 5 cents
and 3.5 cents per pound, respectively.
Residents may also elect to purchase yard
waste bags at a cost of 75 cents each
(which includes the disposal fee) for dis-
posal of grass clippings and leaves.
In addition, the town  constructed new
recycling disposal  facilities for direct
access residential  users that became
operational  on August 1, 1994. The
enhanced recycling center accepts a
wide variety of materials that can  be
recycled by  residents  at no cost, includ-
ing aluminum, steel, plastic, newspaper,
glass, and many others. Yard waste,
uncontaminated wood demolition, and
ferrous and nonferrous scrap metals are
also recycled, but are  assessed a tip fee
due to associated processing costs.

Success: Saving  Money and
Reducing Waste
The success of both the volume-based
disposal system and enhanced recycling
facility  has exceeded all pre-operational
expectations.  The capture ratio of recy-
clables from direct access residential
users has consistently  reached approxi-
mately 40 percent, with levels as high
as 51 percent (not including bulky or
recyclable yard waste). Recycling cap-
ture ratios approach 60 percent if yard
waste and bulky recycled waste esti-
mates are included.
Under the PAYT program,  RHRTS resi-
dential users discharged approximately
2,175 tons during fiscal year 1994-95, as
compared with 7,608 tons in fiscal year
1991-92 under the former vehicle  sticker
program. The average family of four has
reduced its solid waste stream to one
tagged bag and one bag of  recyclables
per week. This equates to a total  yearly
refuse  disposal cost of $52  per year,
which is a $40 savings from the previous
year's average cost of  $92. Elderly and
single  residents  have reported a reduc-
tion in solid waste disposal  to as low as
one refuse bag every two weeks,  for a
total yearly refuse disposal cost of $26.
South Kingstown's success story was compiled by Ion R. Schock, Utilities Director,
(401) 789-9331