Departments > Public Works > Division of Solid Waste > Pay As You Throw (PAYT)

Pay As You Throw (PAYT)

Pay as you throw, or PAYT, is a unit based pricing system for financially supporting the solid waste functions in the City. This allows residents to pay for trash removal on a per-bag basis, just like buying roast beef by the pound or gasoline by the gallon.

There are four goals for PAYT in Bath:

  1. Increase revenue to support solid waste program, landfill maintenance and decrease solid waste disposal costs.
  2. Create equitable distribution of solid waste costs rather than increasing the overall tax burden – you will pay for your own trash, not your neighbor’s.
  3. Increase the community recycling rate.
  4. Reduce consumption of landfill space or generation of incinerator ash.

The system is equitable because residents will only pay for the trash they generate. The more material recycled, the less tonnage has to be hauled away and the lower the resident’s costs. The cost of the bags is an economic incentive to reduce, reuse and recycle more and throw away less. There are no mandatory recycling rules, no recycling police. It is entirely the choice of the resident: how much to recycle and how much to spend.

Recycling tends to be cheaper than disposal of waste, so the more material recycled, the fewer taxpayer dollars will be needed. There is also the environmental benefit that companies that use recycled materials as raw materials for their manufacturing processes will spend less money, use less energy, and create less pollution. Bath is a long way from the State of Maine recycling goal of 50%. PAYT, in combination with single stream recycling, will help Bath meet that goal.