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NJ Towns Looking At Adopting 'Pay As You Throw' Garbage Plan

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Garbage.

Depending on where you live, you're paying a private company for pickup or the Department of Public Works does the job for you. In New Jersey, some towns are looking at different options to save money.

In Maplewood, residents pay almost $500 a year for private companies to pick up their trash. You can fill up two pails and some say it's quite convenient.

"They take it from the backyard, you don't have to put it in the front," one resident told CBS 2's Christine Sloan.

Now, the township is proposing a new system environmentalists say is gaining popularity across the country -- residents throwing garbage away in special bags they have to pay for.

"Almost everybody should be saving money. The other thing, there's an equity part of it which is that those who put out less garbage will pay less," Bob McCoy of the Maplewood Environmental Advisory Committee said.

Chatham Borough and two other towns in New Jersey use the "Pay As You Throw" system.

"If you have household of maybe 5, 6, 7 people, you're going to pay a lot more," said Chatham Borough Mayor Nelson Vaughan.

In Chatham, residents pay a yearly fee of about $180. On top of that, they have to buy garbage bags, sold at the local grocery store that cost $1.15 for the large ones and 60 cents for the smaller ones.

In Maplewood, township officials say it would cost about the same for residents, who could end up saving money.

"If we could save around $200 a year that could be a good option for us," said Maplewood resident Ryan Gardiner.

"I think it's inconvenient," real estate agent Ellen DeCicco said.

The bags here in Chatham are see-through and the mayor says it makes residents think about what they throw out.

"The more you recycle instead of throwing out, the better it is for the environment," Mayor Vaughan said.

Some Maplewood residents say while it may be good for the environment, they're not too sure of big brother telling them how they should unload their trash.

What are your thoughts on a 'Pay As You Throw' system?  Share your thoughts in the comments section...

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