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Sheridan City Council Approves Pilot 'Pay-As-You-Throw' Program


Sheridan City Council approved $75,000 for a pilot program that gives residents an incentive to generate less waste.

The program is called Pay-As-You-Throw. It's a metered waste collection system that charges people based on how much trash they throw away, similar to other utilities like water or electricity.

Jacob Martin, a Sheridan city councilman who proposed the program, said this system is good for those who don't generate as much waste. Martin said the goal is to push residents to do more recycling and composting and to reduce waste sent to the city's landfill.

"It's a smart way to reduce trash and reward citizens for being good citizens of the environment and using wise management practices. And it's just more equitable," he said.

Over the next few months, city officials and the utilities department will design plans for the program. The city will also hire a consultant to create a pay rate structure. The consultant will cost around $15,000 and comes out of the council-approved funds, Martin said.

"The timeline from design to actual implementation is a couple of months. Then the execution period that we're going to monitor is going to be a six-month period. And then they'll report back and tell us the results," he said.

Sheridan currently offers curbside single-stream recycling. Martin said with the addition of Pay-As-You-Throw, it would mean Sheridan would have some of the best practices for diverting waste from landfills recommended by government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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