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Sample Implementation Timeline

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To successfully implement pay-as-you-throw, there are many steps planners will need to perform. To help you better understand this process, below is a sample timeline from a hypothetical community called Paytville.

A town of about 50,000, Paytville has begun to consider implementing a bag-based pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) program. Town planners created this timeline to help guide their program's development. Because each community begins the process of implementing PAYT with unique issues and circumstances, the implementation steps you follow-and the timing of those steps-could vary from this sample.

Review the activities Paytville undertook to design and implement its program, using the links to access further information as needed. For each step, decide whether it belongs on your community's timeline, and, if so, where on your timeline it should be placed. Consider also whether there are any additional steps not listed below that you will need to perform.

Remember: this sample timeline may not include every implementation step necessary as you pursue public and political support for PAYT in your community.

Implementation Timeline for Paytville

Implementation GraphicThe timeline for Paytville's PAYT program covers the period from 18 months before implementation through ongoing program maintenance. To view a specific implementation stage, click on the corresponding link on the horizontal timeline below. Or simply scroll down this page to read in chronological order each of the steps the town plans to follow. Timeline Map
Schedule Program Activity
18 months before implementation

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15 months before implementation

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  • Form task force, including representatives from community civic groups, collection crews, mayor's office, and likely bag retailers
  • Begin planning public outreach and education effort
  • Determine data collection/program monitoring needs; design collection and reporting procedures
  • Compare bags against other container options, make final container selection
  • Create rate structure design (RSD) group including DPW managers and municipal accounting/finance personnel
12 months before implementation

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  • Begin monitoring recycling levels, waste amounts shipped to landfill
  • Determine whether to expand recycling program, develop yard trimmings collection program
  • RSD group reports on initial findings, including possible per-bag prices and any equipment/staffing needs
  • Design a pilot program for the North Paytville neighborhoods
  • Present initial program planning activities to task force, seek input
9 months before implementation

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  • Implement North Paytville pilot program; dedicate a staff member to answering residents' questions and monitoring results
  • Begin implementing community-wide public outreach: presentations to key community groups, utility bill inserts, and press releases to Paytville Times
  • Determine bag specifications and issue RFP
  • Recruit retailers to sell bags
  • Analyze/determine need for customer service representatives (CSRs) and other administration and staffing issues
  • Review existing ordinances to decide if any changes/new ordinances are needed
  • Establish enforcement procedures for program
  • Consider rate assistance for low-income or other special populations
  • RSD group presents proposed rates for staff and task force review
  • Report to task force, seek input
6 months before implementation

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  • Evaluate lessons learned from North Paytville pilot program, continue monitoring results
  • Continue public outreach; prepare fact sheet with complete program information and answers to common program frequent questions
  • Plan for implementing new yard trimmings program and changes to recycling upon PAYT implementation
  • Prepare system for collecting bulky waste items under the new program
  • Draft any new ordinances or changes to existing ones determined necessary from earlier analysis
  • Select bag vendor and prepare system for purchasing bags and selling to retailers
  • Work with retailers on bag delivery, invoice schedule, and inventory monitoring
  • Develop criteria for special populations assistance
  • If needed, begin hiring and training CSRs, other staff (hire longer term, higher responsibility positions first)
  • Decide whether to include apartment/multi-family housing residents in the program and, if so, how
  • RSD group presents final rates
  • Report to task force, seek input
3 months before implementation

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  • Continue public outreach; include the program participation fact sheet in last utility bill before implementation
  • Enact new ordinances
  • Train enforcement personnel
  • Complete training of CSRs to answer telephone questions from residents
  • Develop "error tags" collection crews can attach to any trash not in bags or over maximum weight
  • Begin receiving and processing requests for assistance from special populations
  • One month prior to implementation, retailers begin selling bags to residents

Upon implementation

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  • Begin expanded recycling collections, yard trimmings collections, new bulky waste collection system
  • Ensure sufficient CSRs available to answer telephone questions
  • Collection crews continue to pick up trash not in program bags or over maximum weight for one month, then begin leaving trash with "error tags" attached as needed
  • Continue close monitoring of waste amounts, recycling levels

Ongoing activities

  • Reevaluate program CSR staffing needs
  • Monitor bag inventory, obtain and sell new bags as needed to retailers
  • Continue program monitoring; issue quarterly program reports on results to mayor and town council
  • Conduct annual customer service evaluation
  • Consider program adjustments as needed
  • Revise and distribute new public education materials as needed

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18 Months 15 Months 12 Months Nine Months 6 Months 3 Months Implementation Ongoing

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