New Hampshire Town Boosts Recycling With Pay-As-You-Throw
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has announced that the town of Lyme has achieved “remarkable” results in its first full year of a “pay-as-you-throw” solid waste disposal program.
Lyme’s recycling rate increased from 13.4 percent in 2005 to 51.9 percent in 2006. The town disposed of 310 tons of waste in 2006–264 tons less than in 2005. The town recycled 334 tons, up from 89 tons in 2005.
Pay-as-you-throw programs have proven to increase recycling in many communities. Families have a financial incentive to recycle and create less trash when they are charged for each bag of garbage that they throw out, DES officials said.
The first action that families can take to reduce their trash is to recycle more paper products, including cereal boxes, junk mail, and used paper bags.
About 35 percent of all garbage is paper, and less than 50 percent of that paper is recovered, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the DES, almost all paper products, except for the cheesy pizza box or milk and juice cartons, are recyclable.
Every ton of material that is not thrown away is a ton that does not go into landfills or incinerators, does not cost towns disposal fees, and can generate money for municipalities by the sale of recyclable material.
For example, the DES explains, the recent price for corrugated cardboard is $90 a ton; for mixed paper, $45 a ton; and for aluminum cans, $1,500 per ton.