Wellfleet PAYT (Trash Disposal Changes)

      Wellfleet has instituted a Pay As You Throw (PAYT) system for its transfer station. This is in response to a significant increase in the amount the town will be charged for disposing of its trash. For years the town has enjoyed below-market rates that were locked in by a long-term contract with SEAMASS which expires in 2016. Currently, the town of Wellfleet pays $18.50 per ton; in 2016 the amount will be $60 per ton, an increase of 324%!  The PAYT program is designed to encourage people to reduce the amount of trash generated and to help pay for the cost increases. Residents will be encouraged to recycle as much as possible, and there is no charge to use the recycling sections at the transfer station.


How does the PAYT system work?  Trash will have to be brought to the transfer station in special trash bags. The bags are purple and cost $1.50 for a 33-gallon bag (trash barrel size), $1.00 for a 15-gallon bag (kitchen size), and $0.50 for an 8-gallon bag. These bags will be available at The Wellfleet Marketplace,  South Wellfleet General Store, Wellfleet Spirits Shoppe, Seaside Liquors, Mid-Cape Home Centers, Stop and Shop in Orleans and Provincetown, and Shaws in Orleans. PAYT bags are not sold at the transfer station. The cost of a residential dump sticker is being reduced from $55 to $40. If you arrive at the transfer station and do not have your trash in the proper PAYT bags, you will be charged $5 per bag of trash. The net result of these price changes is that the average Wellfleet household will pay significantly more to dispose of their trash at the transfer station. These changes are intended to make people think about ways to reduce their waste or to make small lifestyle changes when dealing with their cast-offs.


A good alternative to PAYT is to hire a disposal service. They can individualize your trash and recycling program and customize it to your personal needs. You will not need to purchase the PAYT bags. Many of them can provide you with a “single stream” recycling bin as well as a trash bin. This means that you can sort your refuse into two categories:  trash and recyclables, as opposed to the five categories that you will need to sort your trash into before taking it to the transfer station. If you have never considered a disposal service before, this might be the year to choose this option.


Some Tips to Reduce the Amount of Your Trash

A. Recycling

Whether it is a glass jar, an empty soup can, a shampoo bottle, or a newspaper, many items are recyclable. Proper organization makes all the difference when it comes to recycling at the transfer station. A good organization system will significantly reduce the amount of trash that would have to be put in a PAYT bag and will make it easier for you once you arrive at the transfer station. Wellfleet has four different categories of recycling.

Category 1: Plastics and cans.  All numbered plastics are accepted, as well as tin cans, metal bottle tops, etc.

Category 2:  Paper.  Newsprint and office paper.

Category 3:  Cardboard.  Cardboard boxes, paperboard (cereal boxes, etc.pre-sort)Category 4: Glass


Presort out any returnables (bottles and cans) which are placed in separate bins to be donated to various local non-profit groups at the transfer station. A well-organized recycling system will significantly reduce the amount of trash that would have to be put in a PAYT bag. The easiest way to deal with this is to use separate containers for each recyclable category before you go to the transfer station. Recycling reduces your ultimate costs and will reduce your overall impact on the environment.


B. Composting

Composting is another way to reduce the amount of trash you will have to put in PAYT bags. While this may seem like a smelly option, many of the composting products available today do a good job of limiting odors. Did you know you can even get composting containers with carbon filters? According to the EPA over 14.5% of trash in the US is food waste and an additional 13.5% is yard waste. Composting will take care of the majority of this waste. (You should not put any meat or poultry products into your compost unless otherwise instructed.)  Composting works best if you have a small covered container in your kitchen where you can easily put food waste as you prepare or clean up after meals. This can then be transferred to a larger composting unit outside.Once the compost has decomposed, you have the added benefit of having a good source of nutrients to add to our particularly poor soil.  Composters can be found at most local garden supply stores, some hardware stores, through various online vendors, or conveniently enough, at the transfer station itself.

C. Trash compacting

    Another way to save money is to compress your trash. Just how much of your trash is actually empty space? Quite a bit! By fitting more trash into less space (volume) you will need fewer PAYT bags. Most electric trash compactors compress at a 4:1 ratio, meaning that they reduce the volume of your trash by 75%! Once it is compressed, you can put it in the PAYT bag. This obviously can add up to a bit of savings. There are several different types of trash compactors. You can purchase one to be built into your kitchen or you can purchase a free-standing modular trash compactor.




The Trash Pie

      The Furies has always considered our impact on the environment.  We are Cape and Islands Green Level I Certified. We run our organization in such a way that we recycle more than we throw away. This pie chart from the EPA shows the Mass Solid Waste percentages by material for 2011.  Imagine all the pieces of this pie in a PAYT bag.  By making simple lifestyle changes, your household will be able to change the pieces of your pie, reduce the cost of waste disposal, and lessen your environmental impact all at the same time.



Trash Pie chart
Source epa.gov click here for source