Memphis, Tennessee – Once a week, people all around the United States set their unwanted household waste materials and garbage near the street and never think about them again. Whether you throw away 10 trash bags or zero, everybody on the street pays the same rates. However, that old model may soon change drastically for Memphis area residents.

With the rising costs of hauling waste, Memphis officials have considered a variety of solutions to make garbage collection mutually beneficial for its residents and the city’s bottom line. Simply raising the cost of waste removal across the board will result in an influx of illegal dumping to avoid paying the higher rates. So instead, Memphis plans to adopt the “Pay-As-You-Throw” program.

A majority of current “Pay-As-You-Throw” cities have residents rent the size of container they want to use for waste removal. This model has a great deal of positives because everyone has responsibility for just themselves. Other “Pay-As-You-Throw” programs utilize numbered bags for each household.

Recently, “Pay-As-You-Throw” has been established in the small town of Waterville, Maine. In just two short months, the total trash output of Waterville has dropped 49%. Although this may be beneficial for the environment, not everybody is happy about it.

The transfer station that Waterville uses charges waste haulers based upon volume. The reduced waste streams created by the “Pay-As-You-Throw” program have resulted in monthly losses of almost $3,000. With another nearby city considering a similar program, this and every transfer station in the United States should be concerned.

Memphis’ “Pay-As-You-Throw” program will be called SMART. The acronym stands for Save Money and Reduce Trash and will help save the City of Memphis $10 million. Besides the monetary value, Memphis will be helping the environment and the program will promote recycling.

The City of Memphis officials estimate the reduction in trash will be around 30%. The reduced trash will benefit the environment and a majority of Memphis residents will be paying far less than their current waste removal. However, “Pay-As-You-Throw” must be mutually beneficial because Memphis pays a great deal of money to take care of the trash.

Memphis currently uses front end and grapple loaders, which are basically garbage trucks with claws. Since Memphis residents are not required to position their trash a certain way prior to pick up, it is very costly and takes much more time to collect all the garbage. Memphis officials estimate that the City pays $16.6 million every year to pick up trash that is NOT in the garbage cans.

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The “Pay-As-You-Throw” programs faces a variety of obstacles and opposition before it becomes a reality. Besides the hefty upfront costs, the city of Memphis also has a number of poorer communities. This may hurt participation rates among these residents in an attempt to avoid the new monthly fees.

Every city is different, and every city must find their own unique solution to manage their trash. Memphis may not be the perfect fit for “Pay-As-You-Throw,” but some version of the program should be the answer. Regardless, the current waste removal system does need to be improved in Memphis.

Cities throughout the United States charge high costs for its residents to remove large amounts of waste. These costs can easily be avoided by renting an affordable roll off dumpster rental in Memphis. Do not hesitate to contact us with any waste removal questions.