The best way to generalize the Transfer Station Sticker and the PAYT bag revenue is that the annual stickers cover the fixed costs (overhead, personnel, etc.) while the PAYT bags cover the variable costs (transportation and tipping fees).
In an effort to reduce the sticker price for those residents who generated smaller amounts of trash, the PAYT program was adopted where all Transfer Station users paid a lower base price and the remainder of the per user cost was applied via a progressive funding mechanism – the households that generated more solid waste would pay more akin to a utility bill. PAYT bag revenue is a funding mechanism and is simply a way to help spread the cost of trash disposal in a fairer way.
In summary the PAYT bags serve two important purposes:
ECONOMIC: The Town receives the majority of the monies earned from the sale of every bag and this money is automatically deposited for the Town and enters into the Town’s Transfer Station Enterprise Fund. This money, along with the money from the sale of Transfer Station stickers, helps fund the cost of operating the Town Transfer Station including but not limited to transportation costs and RIRRC “tipping fees” paid per ton of solid waste.
ENVIRONMENTAL: The use of PAYT bags has demonstrated outstanding reductions in the tonnage of solid waste being disposed of at the Transfer Station. Since PAYT was initiated, Portsmouth has seen an approximately 50% reduction in solid waste disposal and doubling of the recycling rate!
The PAYT paradigm monetarily incentivizes residents to educate themselves on recycling and diversion. Additional ways to reduce the amount of household solid waste (to reduce PAYT costs) include but are not limited to:
- Reduce/Refuse (do I really need extra packaging or that bag?)
- Reuse (refill beverage containers)
- Repair (fix vice throwing it away)
- Rot (compost)
- Rethink (think outside the box for disposal, donate or sell item)
- Recycle (due to transportation costs, should be considered the “final resort”)