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Lack of participation, confusion plagues Phoenix recycle program

Posted by   /  September 11, 2017  /  No Comments

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City of Phoenix employees work at the city’s compost facility, which opened in April and is capable of processing up to 55,000 tons of green and food waste per year and divert more than 10 percent of waste that goes to the landfill. /Photo by Jenna Miller/Arizona Capitol Times

By Jenna Miller | Arizona Capitol Times

Phoenix’s ambitious plan to divert green waste and recyclables from landfills has floundered, as few residents have participated in the new curbside composting program and many struggle to follow recycling rules.

In 2013, Reimagine Phoenix was announced with the goal of a 40 percent diversion rate by 2020 and zero waste by 2050. Now with more than half the initial allotted time spent, the official city diversion rate is 20 percent, only 4 percent more than when the program began. The Public Works Department is hoping that Phoenix’s first large- scale composting facility, completed in April, will spur momentum.

Residents in certain areas are already able to send green waste to the facility through the green organics curbside pilot program. For a fee, these residents get a separate bin for composting that is picked up weekly by the city.

However, in the heart of the pilot location, Coronado resident Sarah Gaumont had no idea green waste composting was possible in her area. Neither did her neighbor Don Mertes, who said if he had a bin it would be easy for him to compost all his green waste.

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