PAYT - Pay As You Throw - Scheme to reduce landfill waste

PAYT- New Pay As You Throw scheme tried in Europe

A new acronym, PAYT has found its way into the world of waste management.

"Pay As You Throw" gives you an idea about what this new proposed incentive is about. In short, the aim of the new scheme is to entice us all to reduce the amount of waste we throw in our bins, and increase the amount of rubbish we recycle by paying us for it.

A report published on the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) website details how a number of areas in the European Union were used as case studies to gather data about this interesting subject.

EU countries taking part

Municipalities in seven different EU coutries were used as guinea pigs for this study - namely Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Germany, Italy, France and Austria.

The idea behind the study is to give us all a greater incentive to recycle our stuff, like composting our garden and food waste and sorting our other household rubbish more carefully so that it can be recycled more efficiently.

Pilot schemes like this don't come without the usual myriad of associated logistical concerns. In particular, how the concept can be rolled out amongst an entire city, and more importantly, how to give people enough of a financial incentive to recycle, whilst balancing this against the cost of implementing such a widespread idea.

Concerns about the scheme

A big concern about the idea is that there could be the potential for a sharp increase in fly tipping if the cost of throwing away our non recycled rubbish becomes too expensive. The report also talks about the need to change peoples' perceptions about the effectiveness and long term benefits of recycling (see our recent post on 'Green Fatigue'). 

Whilst the report claims that the findings of the study received a warm reception from its participants (who saw it as "fair"), there appears to be real problems regarding how exactly the project could be rolled out on a bigger scale. It highlights that 'one size doesn't fit all', as the population density and local infrastructure vary greatly form region to region.

Changing perception towards recycling

It's accepted that as we consume more things, we throw more stuff away (unused food, product packaging etc.), so some of the ideas in the experiment revolve around how exactly the project could work on a door to door collection service by perhaps charging/ paying in difference ways. The report says:

"With regards to waste prevention, weightbased systems are most successful, followed by combined volume and frequency-based/sack-based systems, and then volume-based systems (i.e. schemes where households simply choose a specific size of container). Care should be taken for PAYT and producer responsibility schemes to be complementary".

If this subject is of interest to you, the summarized report can be found here.

Skip Hire Sussex

Lastly, if you need to get rid of a large amount of rubbish all in one go, we offer a range of skip sizes for you to hire throughout Sussex, or you can try our wait and load service instead. Unfortunately, we don't pay you when you hire one of our skips - you have to pay us! but the upside is that we recycle the vast majority of your waste on your behalf :)

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