After determining which collection method will be used and where the material will go, determining how to roll-out the program to residents will affect the overall program costs.
Some communities give containers to all residents to participate, some communities only give containers to those who sign-up for the program. Billing also varies. In some cases, fees for the program are applied to the property taxes, some to a utility bill, and some are charged only if residents sign-up for the program. Additional information on sign up methods are detailed below.
Everyone gets a cart
A program in which everyone gets a cart may result in increased contamination as residents are not making a commitment (signing up) to want to participate.
All pay but must opt-in to get a cart (recommended)
A program in which all residents must pay (as part of their property taxes or solid waste pickup fees) to participate regardless if they do participate but still must sign-up to receive a cart will result in the lowest cost per household possible. Having all residents pay makes annual budgeting easier than trying to guess participation and charge only those who sign up. It also reduces the perception of a financial barrier to participate. The action of signing up is a commitment from residents who want to properly participate.
Pay to participate
A program in which only the residents who sign up pay is challenging for a couple of reasons. It makes budgeting challenging, it makes cart inventory challenging, and it adds a very visible financial barrier to participation for some households.
There are many ways residents can be billed for garbage, recycling and organics recycling services.
- Property Tax
- Utility Bill
- Bill from hauler
- Pay as you throw (PAYT) – a per bag / cart payment model.
Look into what options exist for your municipality.