Letters 11-03-11

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As you roll your 48-gallon trash roll cart down the driveway to deposit it at the curb, do you ever wonder why you are being charged the same fee per month as your neighbor who has a 96-gallon cart overflowing with trash?  
There is another option, and it is known as a Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) solid waste rate structure.  
With a PAYT rate system residents are charged for trash services based on how much waste they put out every week for disposal.  
By charging for trash services based on roll cart size, a more equitable rate structure is created.  Also, residents are given a financial incentive to reduce trash.  
Over 7,000 communities nationwide have successfully implemented a PAYT rate structure, and it could be a wonderful tool to help reach the sustainability goals of Los Alamos County.  
In fiscal year 2011 (June, 2010 – July, 2011), the average County resident threw away 1,068 lbs of trash.  
As a whole, residents with curbside trash collection disposed of 8,025 tons, the equivalent of 800 trash trucks.  If lined bumper to bumper these trucks would extend for 4.5 miles.