Trash – old

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The SSC is working to improve Sharon’s current trash program by implementing the SMART Program.

SMART (Save Money and Reduce Trash) Program Goals:

  • Reduce waste and increase reuse & recycling
  • Provide affordable solid waste services
  • Implement a more equitable system

SSC 2016 Trash Proposal to Town of Sharon:

  • Each household would receive a 35 gallon trash cart as a standard practice.
  • Weekly recycling pickup.
  • Overflow options would be available for purchase.

From MassDEP: Learn about the successes and documented savings that Massachusetts cities and towns have achieved by implementing PAYT/SMART* programs.

Click here to see list of MA towns with existing PAYT/SMART* Programs, May 2017.

*PAYT=Pay As You Throw.  SMART=Save Money and Reduce Trash

Map of Massachusetts Municipalities with PAYT/SMART Programs, May 2017

Did you know?

  • In Sharon, all residents pay the same per household price for service, regardless of the amount of waste generated.
  • SMART communities like Milton and North Attleboro generate 40% less trash per household compared with Sharon.

A few facts about Sharon’s trash:

  • Residents generated 1,878 lbs. of trash per household in 2013.  That’s more than 36 lbs. of trash per week, every week.
  • Sharon’s trash is burned at an incinerator  in West Wareham, MA hence we are adding to air pollutants and climate change.  Ironically, the discarded trash from our homes is still filled with materials that can be recycled or composted.
  • For every ton of waste we create, we are really using 70 more tons  of upstream waste from mining, manufacturing, and distribution.  This is not sustainable.
  • As households, we pay high costs for our poor waste management: ~$70 for every ton of trash burned, along with collection costs.
  • We also pay high environmental costs since we are wasting non-renewable natural resources.

SMART Trash Resources:

For more information about the SMART Trash Program, contact Cheryl Schnitzer at 508-963-8712 or and/or Kathi Mirza at 781-­784-0671 or

Tips on Reducing Trash:


2 Responses

  1. Laura Smead
    Laura Smead / 2-29-2016 / ·

    Just a comment that waste goes to the West Wareham, MA waste-to-energy facility. This is very different than the traditional incinerators of the past. It has very strict pollutant cleaning before steam is released. It is not as good as preventing waste or recycling first, but it does have a role to play in sustainable waste management as it is better than land filling (much less CO2, no methane, etc.).

    1. Dr. RIcky S. Stern
      Dr. RIcky S. Stern / 7-25-2016 / ·

      Laura: Thank you for your interest and your response. While these kinds of incinerators are a type of stop gap measure the underlying issues remain. As the picture in the garbage truck shows, a huge portion of what is thrown out are materials that can easily be repurposed and not turned into ash and heat. We are proposing that zero waste be something we are always trying for as a goal and that burning paper, metals, glass, etc. is wasteful, and that these materials once burned will never be recaptured, and that most of what is being burned should never be in the waste stream to begin with.

      As long as recycling is done poorly, the incinerator is as wasteful an outcome as any — especially when we take into account that for every ton of waste in a landfill we now know that 70 tons of materials were used to produce it.

      The entire system is on the wrong footing and we all must take a breath and rethink policies that turn anything reusable into a moment’s heat..
      Thanks, Dr. Ricky Stern. President, Sustainable Sharon Coalition

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