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Pay As You Throw

Pay As You Throw

Dear Annie,
I am a ho-hum recycler and need some inspiration. Ideas?
–Kate, MI

Dear Kate,
How is saving green by being green for inspiration? Many municipalities, both large and small, are initiating a pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) program, just charging residents a fee for each bag or can of waste they generate. You just pay for what you use. Some communities are begging to be able to bill residents on the weight of their trash instead. The more you recycle and compost, the less you spend on your garbage.

Here is my idea for you (and I am inspired by it, too): Why not save money, recycle more, and join the PAYT trend that is changing landfills? The United States is responsible for one-third of the world’s garbage, and PAYT is a plan that is resulting in reducing that embarrassing number. You can recycle 75 to 90 percent of your waste, and you can also compost and find specific drop off centers (for electronics, for example) for much of the rest.

What do you bet that we’ll watch what you purchase when you know you have to throw away packaging? Clamshell “wrap rage” may just reach a new level.

Here’s another inspiration, however, that I found in the book by David Bach, Go Green, Live Rich, and that is that the aluminum cans we throw away each year use up the equivalent of 16 million barrels of oil, enough to fuel a million cars for a year.

Read more: Home, Ask Annie, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , ,

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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8:22AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Recycling incentives [such as a decrease in trash fees for every bin of recyclable goods] is a better plan than this. Poor people will not be able to afford it and will accumulate trash in their homes, garages, and yards. It will encourage illegal dumping, also. Some might even resort to burning it, releasing petroleum-based toxins into the atmosphere. I don't like this idea.

7:19AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

9:45AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

I wish we had a pay as you throw scheme in my neighbourhood; there was talk about implementing one for years, but the idea was dropped. I've always gone out of my way to recycle everything possible and I'm sick of paying an astronomically high council tax to pay for the lazy slobs who can't be bothered to sort their trash.

7:39AM PDT on May 15, 2012


7:49PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

This is cool! I'm going to look into it.

8:30AM PST on Feb 7, 2012

Good info. Thanks

1:14AM PST on Feb 7, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:14AM PST on Feb 6, 2012


10:30PM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Good tips, thanks for posting.

9:41AM PDT on Nov 2, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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I agree with Kamia T.'s comment. Thanks.

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