Phoenix Approves Up To $10 Million To Encourage Recycling

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 8:42pm
Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 5:56pm
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Trash delivered to the Phoenix transfer station at 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.

In 2013, the Phoenix City Council created a goal to divert 40 percent of trash from landfills by 2020. To meet that goal, the Public Works Department says outside help is needed.

The council discussed the plan during Wednesday's meeting, and it was clear that not everyone thought the price is right.

“I think we should have started smaller and built up," said Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

He voted against the contract which focuses on community outreach and provides incentives for people who recycle. 

Before voting no, Councilman Sal DiCiccio said, “If the public wants to understand why they’re paying huge water bills, high taxes, it’s because of things like this. This is almost a $10 million contract given just to let people know about recycling. “    

But City Manager Ed Zuercher told council members the deal could save taxpayers money. 

“It avoids landfilling fees that we have to pay and it creates revenue to the city by being sold on the recycling market," he said. "So I just want to clarify it’s not about feeling good, it’s actually a solid business decision."

The majority of council members agreed and approved the contract. It requires the company, Recycle Rewards LLC which does business as Recyclebank, to meet certain benchmarks like reducing the amount of recycling materials that residents put in their trash cans from 13.7 percent to 8.7 percent in the first year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been modified to state the contract's required percentage of reduction in residential recycling materials in trash cans.

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