PAYT FAQs

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Pay As You Throw (PAYT)

What is it?

Pay as you throw, or PAYT, is a unit-based pricing system for financially supporting the solid waste functions in the City. 

Who is affected by PAYT?

Only Bath residents who currently receive city-paid curbside trash collection. Residents who do not receive curbside trash collection but who do participate in the recycling program may still use the single stream recycling guidelines.

How will the PAYT program work?

If you currently recieve receive curbside trash collection, you must purchase official City of Bath trash bags. Household trash must be in these official bags to be collected. Trash placed curbside but not in the official bag will not be collected.The program only applies to trash and not to bulky items, appliances, tires, furniture, etc. These items may still be brought to the landfill for disposal with payment of the appropriate fee. 

Recycling is still free. Materials will be picked up curbside or residents may drop them off at the landfill. You can pick up a blue recycling tub at the landfill.

Where will I get the bags?

Bags are in the following Bath businesses: Bath Natural Market, Brackett’s Market, Roger's Hardware, Shaw’s Supermarket and Walgreens Pharmacy.

How much do the bags cost?

Bags will be $1.25 for a 15-gallon kitchen size bag and $2.00 for a 30-gallon regular large bag. They will be sold in rolls of five bags, so you will pay $6.25 for a roll of five 15-gallon bags and $10.00 for a roll of five 30-gallon bags. 

How do I reduce my costs?

Recycle! Bath has a "single stream recycling" program, where you can recycle a majority of your household waste. You can recycle all plastics that have a recycling symbol and number on them (including most spray bottles, shampoo bottles, and food contatiners), all colors of glass, all paper and cardboard (including junk mail, envelopes, newspapers, cereal boxes, shoe boxes), cans, aluminum foil, and more. Please see the "single stream recycling" section on this website for a complete list.

All items must be clean of food and other contaminants. All of these materials may be put together in a blue bin or other container (plastic, cardboard, or anything marked "recycling") and placed curbside for collection. You are no longer required to separate the various materials with plastic bags or crush cans and milk jugs. Blue bins are available to all Bath residents for free and can be picked up at the Bath landfill. 

Are there other ways to reduce my costs?

Yes. Buy items in bulk, try to avoid purchasing items that have unnecessary packaging, look for other ways to re-package foods rather than buying individually wrapped items. Don't buy what you don't need. Use items more than once. Find other places to recycle used goods (see the list on this website). Find charities where you can donate items such as books, toys, clothing and home products. 

Why would Bath implement this program?

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.

Bath is a long way from the State of Maine recycling goal of 50%. PAYT, in combination with single stream recycling (see below), will help Bath meet that goal. 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.

The cost of providing solid waste disposal services is growing. Recently the voters of Bath approved a $4.5 million bond to fund construction of more disposal space and a gas management system to address the odor and safety issues of landfill gas. Closure of the landfill will incur a large cost. This project is not optional and will have to be funded one way or another. There will also be ongoing maintenance costs after the landfill is closed.

PAYT allows the city to equitably generate more revenue to support the landfill operation without adding to the property tax burden. PAYT is a more equitable way of raising the needed revenues than the property tax, as each resident is able to control their solid waste disposal costs by recycling. The system is equitable because residents will only pay for the trash they generate. The more material a family recycles, the lower their costs will be.