Sign up and participation options

Some communities give containers to all residents to participate, some communities only give containers to those who opt in to a 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 signup methods are detailed below.

A program in which everyone gets a cart may result in increased contamination because residents did not ask to participate in the program.

A program in which all residents must pay (as part of their property taxes or solid waste pickup fees) to 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.

A program in which only the residents who sign up are the only ones who pay is challenging for a couple of reasons. It is difficult to predict a budget; 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.

  1. Property Tax
  2. Utility Bill
  3. Bill from hauler
  4. Pay as you throw (PAYT) – a per bag / cart payment model.

Look into what options exist for your municipality.

Links and Resources:
CalRecycle: Model Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Programs
BioCycle: Food Waste Dropoff Best Practices
Teton County, WY Food Waste Collection Toolkit


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