Municipal solid waste
Between the holidays of Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, households produce an average of 25 percent more waste than at any other time of the year. Every week during the holiday season, we add 1 million tons of waste to the nation’s landfills. Clearly, municipalities and environmental agencies haven’t yet educated individuals in their communities on how to reduce waste, whether through diversion to recycling or composting operations or, better yet, reducing the volume of generated garbage in the first place.
Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs represent a powerful strategy for limiting landfill-bound content in municipal waste systems. As residents respond to the incentives built into a PAYT strategy, though, haulers, material recovery facilities (MRF), and other stakeholders within the sustainable materials management stream must be prepared to absorb the changes.