Tiverton marked the one-year anniversary of its pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste reduction program last week and according to the and the program's vendor, WasteZero, the results have been dramatic.
Since the , Tiverton’s residents reportedly reduced their solid waste by more than 50 percent. Additionally, its recycling efforts have nearly doubled from 20 percent to approximately 40 percent. The combined efforts have dramatically reduced the amount of trash diverted from Tiverton's landfill.
“The residents of Tiverton have embraced the program, and the results after one year have exceeded our expectations,” said DPW Director, Steve Berlucchi. “The amount of trash that we’ve diverted from our landfill will add years to its life expectancy.”
Additionally, the program has generated revenue for the town. These revenues are earmarked to cover the cost of closing the landfill, which town officials estimate to be $9 million in 2016 when the landfill is projected to reach its maximum capacity.
“The first-year success of the Tiverton program is positive proof that PAYT, or trash metering, is the single most effective way a community can increase recycling, reduce waste and generate revenue,” said Mark Dancy, president of WasteZero, in a press release. “The results after one year are indicative of what we see in other cities and towns where residents support the program as enthusiastically as Tiverton has.”
According to Berlucchi, every day prior to adopting the program, the town needed one 16-cubic yard and two 20-cubic yard garbage trucks to deposit waste at the landfill. Today, Tiverton employs just one 20-cubic yard truck daily to handle its waste disposal.
"The street’s are definitely cleaner," Berlucchi added on Friday. "One side effect of program is the litter in town has seemed to go down because you don’t have stuff blowing out of barrels. It basically added to our litter control."
Tiverton provides weekly curbside residential pickup of solid waste and recyclables to approximately 6,500 households. Residential refuse is transported to the Tiverton landfill and recyclables are brought to the in Johnston.
In addition to Tiverton, WasteZero is the PAYT provider for other communities in Rhode Island, including Middletown, Westerly and North Kingstown.