Town of Kent
Save As You Throw
Program

In July of 2023 the Town of Kent initiated a pilot program that combined the challenge to reduce the generation of household waste along with a food scraps recycling program.

 

Funding for this pilot program was provided by the Sustainable Materials Management Grants Program administered by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) through the Housatonic Resource Recovery Authority (HRRA).

 

Holders of transfer station permits were given 104 specially colored “orange bags” free to use during the pilot program. The challenge was to get all your weekly household garbage into two (2) bags or less. To help, household food scrap collection kits were available that included a countertop collection bin and rolls of compostable food scrap bags.

 

Although the pilot program was not mandatory, we had hoped everyone would “take the challenge” and help us determine a plan for permanency for the new fiscal year.

 

We are pleased to share the current data results from the Kent pilot.
From July 2023 to May 31, 2024 the Kent transfer station has reduced the municipal solid waste (aka trash) by 28 tons.

Here is the break down.
Collected  22 tons or 44,166 lbs of organics (food scraps) that have been transformed into compost and given back to participants.
Collected 307 tons / 613,620 lbs of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) aka trash, compared to 335 tons / 670,200 lbs of MSW during the same period the year prior.

What is this all about?

Why is Kent doing this?

CONNECTICUT IS FACING A WASTE CRISIS

  • Waste disposal capacity in the U.S. is shrinking.
  • The New England region is expected to lose 40% of its trash disposal capacity in the next 5 years and up to 100% by 2040.
  • The State of Connecticut generates 3.5 million tons of municipal solid waste (trash) annually.  However, the state only has capacity to manage 2.7 million tons of trash
  • This loss of trash disposal capacity is significantly affecting ALL Connecticut communities.
  • The alternative of trucking CT trash up to 600 miles out of state is expensive and not sustainable. We need a new approach.
How does the program work?

Beginning July 1, 2024

 

The Town of Kent has transitioned to a permanent Unit Based Pricing and Organic Food Scrap collection system. Permits to access the transfer station have been significantly reduced for all users. Users are now responsible for paying for their own generation of trash and will be required to use town issued trash bags. The cost of the bag covers the cost of disposal per user. Users may choose how many bags they wish to purchase with their permit and may purchase additional rolls of bags throughout the year. Bags are available in variable sizes. All residents wishing to use the transfer station will be required to have a permit to access the facility for any and all services not just for municipal solid waste.

How Much Does This Cost?
Kent residents will choose their permit type.
$50.00 Transfer Station Permit (to access the transfer station for all services, with or without trash disposal)
$20.00 Organics Only Permit (for non-permit holders/curbside users only)

Note: $25.00 fee for replacement hangtags

 

Choose the number of bags you wish to purchase with your permit.
Note: Leftover orange bags from the 2023-24 pilot program will be accepted.  
$32.50      26 bags 13-gallon kitchen (approximately 1/2 bag a week / $.75 per week)
$65.00      52 bags 13-gallon kitchen (approximately 1 bag a week / $1.25 per week)
$104.00   104 bags 13-gallon kitchen (approximately 2 bags a week / $2.00 per week)
$130.00   52 bags 32-gallon (equivalent to 2.5 13-gallon bags / $2.50 per week)

Note: There is a $26 discount for purchasing 104 bags with your permit.

 

Choose if you would like to purchase a food scrap collection kit.

$20.00 Food scrap collection kit (6 gal. carry container, 1.5-gal. kitchen bin, 2 rolls of biobags)

 

Additional bags are available now or can be purchased anytime at the transfer station.

$16.25     Roll of 13 bags 13-gallon ($1.25 per bag)
$32.50      Roll of 13 bags 32-gallon ($2.50 per bag)
$40.00      Roll of 10 bags 55-gallon ($4.00 per bag) – Equivalent to four 13-gallon bags

$2.50      Roll of 25 compostable bags for food scraps

 

Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card.  Checks are payable to the Town of Kent. Supplies are available at the Transfer Station or Town Hall, Selectman’s office.

Acceptable waste items

Regular household trash is acceptable in the Save As You Throw program bags.

 

DO NOT place any of the following in your orange bag:

  • Recyclable items (paper, plastic of metal)
  • Food scraps (use compostable bags)
  • Textiles
  • Yard Waste
  • Dirt, sod, concrete or rock
  • Construction/Demolition debris
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Hot ashes or flammable materials such as oil, gas or paint

 

Click here to learn more about what is accepted and not accepted at the Town of Kent’s Transfer Station.

 

Click here to learn more about the food scrap recycling program.

How Do I Get More Bags?

Additional bags are available now or can be purchased anytime at the transfer station.

$16.25 Roll of 13 bags 13-gallon ($1.25 per bag)
$32.50 Roll of 13 bags 32-gallon ($2.50 per bag)
$40.00 Roll of 10 bags 55-gallon ($4.00 per bag) – Equivalent to four 13-gallon bags
$2.50 Roll of 25 compostable bags for food scraps

 

 

Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card. Checks are payable to the Town of Kent. Supplies are available at the Transfer Station or Town Hall, Selectman’s office.

FAQs

Why is this necessary?

The Town wants the cost to be more equitable for residents and to encourage reduction of solid waste generation. Those residents who generate more solid waste will pay more. The past system of an annual flat permit fee was not equitable and some residents were subsidizing others. Much like everyone pays for how much electricity they use, Kent residents will now pay for how much garbage they generate.

When will this begin?

July 1, 2024 (the new fiscal year)

How much will it cost?

There are two annual permit types:
• $50.00 Transfer Station Permit (for all residents)
• $20.00 Organics Only Permit (for non- permit holders/curbside users only)
Note: $25.00 fee for replacement hangtags

There will also be a cost for bags. These are orange bags printed with the town’s logo to allow for easy identification of permitted users at the Kent Transfer Station. Residents may choose based on the number of bags expected to be used.
Note: Leftover orange bags from the 2023-24 pilot program will be accepted.

Number of bags available to purchase with your permit:
• $32.50 – 26 bags 13-gallon kitchen (approximately 1/2 bag a week / $.75 per week)
• $65.00 – 52 bags 13-gallon kitchen (approximately 1 bag a week / $1.25 per week)
• $104.00 – 104 bags 13-gallon kitchen (approximately 2 bags a week / $2.00 per week)
• $130.00 – 52 bags 32-gallon (equivalent to 2.5 13-gallon bags / $2.50 per week)
Note: There is a $26 discount for purchasing 104 bags with your permit.

Small volume Resident 1 26 $32.50 $50.00 $82.50
Medium volume Resident 2 52 $65.00 $50.00 $115.00
Large volume Resident 3 104 $104.00 $50.00 $154.00
XL volume/
32 Gallon
Resident 4 52 $130.00 $50.00 $180.00
Is the Town making money with this change?

No. The Town is attempting to cover the costs of the supplies and operation of the Transfer Station.

2024-25 budget for revenue and expenses:

$91,360.00 Estimated Revenue from Permits and Bags
$41,558.50 Possible CT DEEP Bridge grant funding to the HRRA
$159,205.00 Kent 24-25 Budget – Transfer Station Expenses
-$26,286.50 difference

NOTE: The possible grant funding (it has not yet been approved by DEEP) will help offset some transfer station operating expenses for the Town of Kent to ensure the first year of implementation does not cost the town more than pre-pilot implemention.

How is this year’s permit different?

The base fee has been significantly reduced. Everyone will pay for access to the Transfer Station. If you want to use bulky waste disposal, or any of the other services, you’ll need to obtain a permit for access.  There will still be a fee for bulky waste.  Bulky waste fees can be viewed by clicking here.

What was the previous annual cost?

Prior to last year’s pilot, there was a $150 annual permit fee, with a $130 permit fee for seniors. Note: In 2023-24, the Town received a $51,000 grant from the State Energy and Environmental Protection for the Food Scraps pilot. The town is applying for an additional grant this year.

How can I reduce my costs?

The change also encourages residents to participate in the organic food scrap collection program. By taking organic materials out of your garbage it will reduce the amount of solid waste that is generated. Food has large water content, which makes it heavy.

 

Cost of a food scrap collection kit:

  • $20.00 Food scrap collection kit (6 gal. carry container, 1.5-gal. kitchen bin, 2 rolls of biobags)

 

Any container can be used to collect food scraps and organic material and then disposed of in the collection containers at the Transfer Station.

 

Recycling as many materials as possible also reduces the amount and weight of solid waste.

What if I run out of bags?

Additional bags which will be available and can be purchased at the transfer station.

 

  • $16.25 Roll of 13 bags 13-gallon ($1.25 per bag)
  • $32.50 Roll of 13 bags 32-gallon ($2.50 per bag)
  • $80.00 Roll of 20 bags 55-gallon ($4.00 per bag) – Equivalent to four 13-gallon bags
  • $2.50 Roll of 25 compostable bags for food scraps

 

Users will be able to choose how many bags they wish to purchase with their permit and may purchase additional rolls of bags throughout the year. Bags will be available in variable sizes.

Am I limited to a certain number of bags?

No.

Why can’t I use any color bag?

The Transfer Station attendants need to monitor solid waste disposal and it was decided that it will be easier for them if residents use a brightly colored bag that is branded for the Town of Kent.

When can I get my new permit?

The application will be available soon. The Town is waiting for the delivery of the bags.

Do I Have To Participate?

Change is hard.. but this challenge makes change fun!

Residents are encouraged to join the challenge and use the provided orange trash bags and we ask each resident to separate out food scraps as best they can and place them in the compostable bags. With rising disposal costs, it is important to separate out food scraps and recyclables from disposal. Learn more about the food scrap recycling program here.

Do I still recycle?

YES! And we hope you will recycle MORE! There are no changes to the recycling program. Remember to keep your material loose and check the list of acceptable items, we also want you to recycle right

 

Questions about recycling? Learn more about recycling here.

I Backyard Compost. Should I Participate?

Backyard composting is great and encouraged! You may decide you want to use the food scrap recycling program for certain items (eggshells, meat, bones, and dairy, prepared foods) or to use in the winter.

Won't This Create More Work?

Not really. You are just replacing your current black/white kitchen bag with an orange bag and just moving your food scraps to a different bag. You also won’t need to take out your trash as often!

What about my kitty litter?

Yes, your furry friends make waste too! Cat litter must be disposed of in your trash.

WHAT DO I DO WITH BULKY WASTE?

That broken laundry basket… oh the darn hose has a hole… you can still bring it to the transfer station. Bulky waste is managed separately from household trash and fees will be applied. But wait! If you have material that can be reused or repurposed, consider donating it or finding it another home.

IS THIS ACTUALLY GOING TO WORK?

The program introduces the idea of moving the cost to dispose of trash for ONLY what YOU throw away.

 

The less trash you make, the more you SAVE.

 

With these tools, you can reduce your trash and save money. And turning our food waste into renewable energy makes more sense.

 

You may be trying this for the first time, but towns all over the U.S. (and the world!) have implemented similar trash reduction programs and have found success!

Kent will succeed with your participation!

Can I just use my regular trash bags?

We are encouraging all of the residents to TAKE THE CHALLENGE to reduce their regular household trash to 2 orange bags a week.  If you haven’t met that challenge you can choose to purchase additional orange bags. More details to come.

Remember your annual fee was reduced to reflect the reduction of waste generated by participants.  If the overall tonnage of waste is reduced, the cost is reduced and you benefit by lower fees.  If the amount of material you throw away does not go down, someone must cover the cost for what you choose the throw away.  This is called unit based pricing.

Unit based pricing is how you currently pay for your electric bill.  You only pay for what you use.  Now imagine if you had to pay for your neighbors electric bill who kept their lights on 24/7.  They wouldn’t be fair.  We are asking residents to take responsiblity for the waste you create not what others create and SAVE AS YOU THROW.

Are there other towns doing this?

Yes!  Through other CT DEEP Sustainable Materials Management grants many other towns are piloting Save As You Throw and food scrap collection.

 

Check them out below!

 

Ansonia

Bethel

Deep River

Guilford

Madison

Meriden

Middlebury

Middletown

Newtown

Seymour

Stonington

West Hartford

West Haven

Woodbury

Should I use my in-sink disposal for food scraps?

To reduce the risk of costly sewer backups, we strongly urge residents to switch from in-sink disposals and use the food scrap recycling program for food scraps. It will also save on your water usage and produce usable fertilizer.

What Else Can I Do?

Reduce your food waste. Keep your refrigerator clean and organized so you know what you have before you shop. Store leftovers in clear containers so you can see what’s in them. Use a shopping list. Use your freezer. Reduce other household waste by avoiding single use disposable items and choose products with minimal packaging.

Reuse: Use reusable shopping bags and coffee mugs. Repurpose glass jars at home. Donate household items and clothing. Consider cloth napkins.

Recycle: Remember the basics: Recycle your paper & cardboard and empty bottles & cans. Items should be clean and dry and placed loose in your collection bin. Learn more here.

Compost: Place all your food scraps in the compostable bags! Fruits & Veggies, Eggs & Eggshells, Meat & Seafood (include bones and shells), Coffee Grounds & Tea Bags, Dairy, Pasta, Grains & Bread, Cookies, Cake, & Candy.  Please no plastic, no metal, no sanitary waste, no pet waste.