Waterville generated nearly 9 million pounds of trash in 2014, and the city spent $750,000 to pick up and dispose of that trash.

Last September, the city implemented a responsible solution that is already saving the town hundreds of thousands of dollars while at the same time making trash collection and disposal more fair and convenient. Pay-as-you-throw and curbside recycling have cut Waterville’s trash by 55 percent. That’s nearly eight tons less trash every day. As a result, the city projects it will save $430,000 in the first year of PAYT. That money will be used to fill holes in the city budget and ease the taxpayer burden.

Before PAYT, all Waterville taxpayers contributed the same amount to the cost of trash disposal, even if they put only one bag of trash on the curb while their neighbor put out five. That wasn’t fair. Now, with the purple bags, we pay only for the trash our household produces. It’s a fair solution that distributes responsibility to each household. More than 130 other Maine towns and cities are already doing it.

Furthermore, PAYT pays entirely for curbside recycling in Waterville. Without PAYT, there would be no curbside recycling. Recycling our paper, metal, glass and plastic means fewer purple bags we have to buy.

On June 9, Question 1 on the Waterville ballot would repeal pay as you throw and curbside recycling. I urge residents to vote no on Question 1 so that we can keep pay as you throw and curbside recycling in Waterville. If repealed, the city is going to have to find an extra $430,000 in next year’s budget. That means higher taxes for all property owners.

Todd Martin


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