Phoenix lays out options to save recycling programs at first community meeting

Phoenix Recycling team/City photo

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

The city of Phoenix hosted the first in series of meetings last night on the future of its recycling and composting programs.

Phoenix is considering changes to its $26.80 per month base rate for residential trash and recycling services.

Phoenix Public Works Director Ginger Spencer outlined to residents at the meeting at the South Mountain Community center options for the trash and recycling programs and the need for a potential rate hike. Phoenix has not adjusted its monthly trash and recycling rate in 10 years. Spencer said inflation, lower recycling revenue from China and the need to keep trucks and facilities updated has the city looking at potential rate increase.

The city is outlining five potential options for trash and recycling rates at the meetings. Those include a $6.40 increase (to $33.20 per month) to maintain services and a $5.50 increase that would go to recycling pickups ever other week (to $32.30 per month. Other options could eliminate composting and recycling altogether.

But Spencer even with getting rid of recycling and composting the city still needs a $4.75 rate hike (to $31.55 per month).

Residents at the meeting voiced support for the city’s recycling program citing environmental stewardships and worries of the image it would send out Phoenix to major employers if the city had no recycling program.

Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia, Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher and other city staff were also at the Tuesday night meeting.

Spencer said without changes to the current rates the city’s trash and recycling services would have to see significant cuts.

The city has several more community meetings scheduled on the recycling and trash options through the end of January.

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