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How to Talk About Pay-as-You-Throw

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How to Talk About Pay-as-You-Throw

  1. 1. How to Talk About Pay-as-You-Throw Stephen Lisauskas March 30, 2015
  2. 2. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 2 The Challenge: Bridging Policy and Politics Widely Accepted as a Successful Policy Option… …But Still Politically Challenging to Move Through the Approval Process There can be a disconnect between the policy and the politics of pay-as-you-throw. The good news: This is a problem with a solution. It’s a New Fee! It Looks Hard! I Don’t Like Change! ~150 Programs Across Massachusetts 44% Average MSW Decrease (Bag-Based Programs)
  3. 3. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 3 The Solution: Communication & Education Overcoming the political challenge of pay-as-you-throw requires clear, thought-out communication to residents—both on how PAYT will help them and on how it will work. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem
  4. 4. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 4 Explaining the Problem The first step in talking about pay-as-you-throw is explaining the context around the decision. Residents must understand why continuing the status quo is not an option. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 More Trash, Fewer Landfills Source: US EPA Municipal Solid Waste Active Landfills
  5. 5. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 5 Explaining the Problem The first step in talking about pay-as-you-throw is explaining the context around the decision. Residents must understand why continuing the status quo is not an option. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 The Increasing Cost of Trash
  6. 6. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 6 Explaining the Problem The first step in talking about pay-as-you-throw is explaining the context around the decision. Residents must understand why continuing the status quo is not an option. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Pay Set Amount Regardless of UsePay Based on Use ElectricityWater Gas Garbage Conserved Wasted
  7. 7. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 7 Explaining Financial Benefits Residents must also understand the financial impact—usually positive—that pay-as-you- throw will have on them. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Baseline Trash Cost Baseline Trash Cost Spending on Bags Disposal Savings 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Before PAYT With PAYT HouseholdSpending onGarbage When an existing fee is being reduced, to be replaced by spending on bags… … Show that household costs will stay stable 1
  8. 8. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 8 Explaining Financial Benefits Residents must also understand the financial impact—usually positive—that pay-as-you- throw will have on them. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Baseline Trash Cost Baseline Trash Cost Disposal Savings Spending on Bags 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Before PAYT With PAYT HouseholdSpending onGarbage … Show concretely what the new household costs will be used to fund Example: Curbside Recycling 2 When PAYT is being used to fund other municipal goals…
  9. 9. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 9 Explaining Financial Benefits Residents must also understand the financial impact—usually positive—that pay-as-you- throw will have on them. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Contribution From Residents Contribution From Residents Disposal Savings $0.00 $0.25 $0.50 $0.75 $1.00 1. Increase Taxes to Generate Revenue 2. Use PAYT to Generate Revenue OR… Show that PAYT is a more efficient way to meet budget goals because of decreased disposal spending 3 When PAYT is being used in place of a tax increase…
  10. 10. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 10 Explaining Operational Benefits Pay-as-you-throw brings significant, but often uncommunicated, operational benefits to the communities that implement it. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Having less garbage to collect means quicker—and sometimes fewer— routes… …Enabling public works staff to perform other municipal services Bulky Item Pickup Loose Limb Collection Road Repairs
  11. 11. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 11 Explaining Environmental Benefits It can be extremely beneficial to educate residents who are motivated by sustainability concerns on how pay-as-you-throw will lessen their town or city’s environmental impact. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Annual Carbon Emissions Savings— Like Taking Away… 5,000 Passenger Vehicles 2,859,000 Gallons of Gasoline Annual Energy Savings— Like Capturing the Energy From… 21,000 Rooftop Solar Arrays 1,500 Single-Family Houses
  12. 12. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 12 Explaining Ease of Use Pay-as-you-throw is easy to take part in, usually requiring nearly no changes in household operations. This is another point that must be communicated. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem Purchase Trash Bags at Store Dispose of Trash Bags in the Same Manner as Before PAYT Curb Transfer Station Cart Average: 1.2 large bags per household per week 1 2
  13. 13. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 13 Education and Outreach A comprehensive resident education campaign incorporating information about the benefits of PAYT and answering any operational questions is also key. Explaining Operational Benefits Explaining Ease of Use Explaining Financial Benefits Explaining Environmental Benefits Education and Outreach Explaining the Problem
  14. 14. Copyright © 2015 WasteZero 14 Timing Pre-Implementation Support Ongoing Support Community Outreach Meetings Program Design and Message Development Resident Education Materials Resident-Facing Web Site Part of how to talk about pay-as-you-throw is also when and where to talk about pay-as-you-throw. This is true both before and after implementation. When municipal leaders are armed with messaging tools that resonate with their residents, they can move pay-as-you-throw from policy idea to political reality.

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