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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Concord residents respond to incentives

Concord recently started charging resident for each trash bag they drop off at the dump. Since the price went up, the amount of trash being dumped has gone down. Amy Augustine reports the figures in this morning's Concord Monitor.
In the first three months of Concord's pay-as-you-throw program, overall trash volume has dwindled, recycling rates have soared and the city has saved itself a significant chunk of change, according to figures released yesterday.

Comparing quarterly figures from July to September of 2008 with the same period this year, the preliminary report shows Concord's solid waste volume is down nearly 50 percent - to 2,118 tons from 4,151 tons. Recycling is up about 75 percent to 888 tons collected in 2009 from 508 tons in 2008.
We've been critical of Concord's efforts to force local grocery stores to subsidize their new trash fee scheme. But we never doubted that increasing cost would lower demand. Concord residents are recycling more, and finding other ways to reduce trash volume. Maybe they reducing the amount of waste they produce, or they may be avoiding the trash bag fees by using private garbage services or finding a place to get rid of their trash outside city limits.

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