As we sit on the eve of the enactment of Pay As You Throw, there are some facts about the Waterville trash tax that some folks may not know:

While most of the ire behind the program has been leveled at the city council (and rightly so to some extent), no one seems to be talking about Waste Zero.

Waste Zero’s business is to sell municipalities of any size trash programs like the one coming to Waterville. From its website, it quickly becomes apparent that pay-as-you-throw programs generate massive revenue for the company. It even lists convenient arguments as to why the program isn’t a tax.

That statement is untrue. When a charge is instituted for an entire municipality across the board, it is leveling a tax, whether or not the municipality names it and claims it.

Waste Zero has sold Waterville a bill of goods and made the city a middle man in its corporate sales plan.

Some portion of every pound of trash we throw away is being paid to this company, as its fee for “assisting” us with our trash-related issues. Without a doubt, our beloved city councilors were “sold” a package.

Cue the tunes from “Music Man.” Ultimately, the programs we implement for the sake of the city should be fair, show a good and practical use for city funds, and most of all, show that their primary interest is in the city’s residents, not the pockets of a corporation.

Waste Zero is generating trash tax revenue nationwide. There’s no good reason why we need to help it increase its bottom line at the expense of our most disadvantaged residents.

Anthony Tompkins


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