Before Gene Hejmanowski came to Penn Township, Pa., everyone paid the same rate for trash pickup.

He didn’t think that was fair.

A study of the township’s population showed 30 percent of its 11,000 residents were single and mostly elderly, so Hejmanowski started to wonder why they should pay as much for trash removal as a family of four or six.

In 1991, Penn Township instituted a “Pay Per Throw” trash pickup program, where residents pay per 45-pound-rated bag of waste they throw away. The program, coupled with mandatory recycling, has helped the town reduce its annual waste going to the landfill, despite a population growth of about 50 percent. 

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