Pay As You Throw

Program Information

Pay As You Throw (PAYT)
Variable Rate for Refuse Collection

Pay as You Throw (PAYT) is a variable rate for refuse collection service under which residents are charged for service in relation to the volume of the refuse cart requested by the customer. This “fee-for-service” option provides an economic incentive to the customer for reducing trash and increasing recycling and waste diversion behaviors. PAYT is utilized by more than 7,000 communities across the nation. The program is recommended in the Kauaʻi County Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, and is endorsed by the EPA which funded the development of the attached PAYT plan for the County of Kauaʻi(PDF, 997KB) . PAYT provides equitable rates for customers who divert waste. The program is anticipated to reduce residential disposal by 17%.

PAYT Ordinance 975 was recently passed by the Kaua‘i County Council in October 2014 and went into effect in July 2015. A PDF of the ordinance is attached below.

Under the new PAYT ordinance, residents are given a choice of refuse cart sizes with associated fees:

96 gallon and 64 gallon carts

Property owners: see below to download the application form and to select your cart size

In conjunction with the PAYT program, the County introduced automated refuse collection to all customers on the North shore.

Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have questions or concerns about the program, please contact:

County of Kauaʻi Public Works, Solid Waste Division

(808) 241-4091 (Monday-Friday)


Why isn't there a 32 gallon cart option?

32 gallon carts could be offered if there are curbside recycling and green waste collection programs for customers. The County currently does not offer these programs. At this time, we are phasing in the smaller 64 gallon carts, as recommended in our PAYT plan. This single downsizing option will minimize confusion in selection and rates.

Will residents have to pay to use the Refuse Transfer Stations now?

No, residents will not be charged tipping fees to enter the Refuse Transfer Stations (or landfill). The a month $6 base fee that residents pay helps off-set the costs of operating the Refuse Transfer Stations.

What about households with little trash, but lots of greenwaste?

Haul to the Refuse Transfer Stations. Consider Backyard Composting.

How does automated refuse collection work for properties with long access roads?

Currently these types of properties have set up holding sites just off the road and leave the carts there.

Why do we need to automate refuse collection in the first place?

Automated collection is more efficient and in the long run, less costly. Automation significantly reduces worker injuries and workman’s comp claims. Automated collection increases the number of accounts that can be serviced on a route, and minimizes the number of workers required to provide service. The program also reduces road side litter and improves neighborhood aesthetics.

I’m not sure what size cart I need, can I try the larger and then get a smaller one?

Yes. There is no penalty for downsizing your cart.

When do I get to make my choice on cart size?

You can change your cart size 2 times per year, coinciding with the Real Property Tax billing cycle. Please call 241-4091 for more information.

What do the carts look like? How big are they?

We have sample carts on display in the Solid Waste Office, 4444 Rice Street, Suite 295 in Lihue.

  • 96 gallon cart: 45" height, 27” width, 33” depth
  • 64 gallon cart: 42" height, 24” width, 27” depth

Is PAYT a charge on top of my base-fee?

Yes, 96 gallon cart includes ($6 a month base fee and the $12 a month refuse collection fee) for $18 a month total. The 64 gallon cart includes ($6 a month base fee and the $4 a month refuse collection fee) for $10 a month total.

Why am I being charged a Base Fee if I don’t receive pick up?

The base fee of $6 per month supports the cost of operating the Refuse Transfer Stations. The base fee keeps us from charging at the gate.

Why am I being charged a Base Fee if I don’t use the Transfer Stations?

The base fee supports all Refuse Transfer Station costs including the transfer of waste from collection trucks to the landfill.

When will we get curbside recycling?

Curbside recycling can’t be implemented without the capability to sort a single stream of recyclables that would be deposited in blue curbside recycling bins. This would require the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).  The County does not plan to build a MRF at this time.

What will happen to refuse pickup for customers on roads that are too small for the refuse truck to enter?

The automated refuse truck is about the same size as the manual truck. Refuse service and locations for pickup will remain basically the same as they are now. When we deliver your cart to your property, we will mark the location for pickup. If there are issues with service, we will work with you when collections start in July.

I have a low income exemption - what will I pay?

Low income exemption is 50% off, both on the base fee and refuse collection fee.

96 gallon cart ($3 base fee and $6 refuse collection fee) $9 a month or $108 for the year

64 gallon cart ($3 base fee and $2 refuse collection fee) $5 a month or $60 for the year.

What can I do with my old 32 gallon trash cans?