There are four goals for PAYT in Bath:
- Increase revenue to support solid waste program, landfill maintenance and decrease solid waste disposal costs.
- 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.
- Increase the community recycling rate.
- 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.