New recycling guidelines implemented in Chandler SanTan Sun News

New recycling guidelines implemented in Chandler

April 27th, 2020 STSN Staff
New recycling guidelines implemented in Chandler
Community
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By the City of Chandler

Recycling is changing in Chandler. Market conditions have shifted, causing limits to the items that the City can accept.

There are three main factors that determine what materials can economically be recycled:

Quantity: There must be a large enough quantity of the material available to recycle.

Cost: The cost for the material must be greater than the cost of collection, processing and transportation.

Acceptance: Just as important as cost, the material recovery facility (recycling center) must accept the material. If the item is not listed as accepted in Chandler’s recycling program, then the recycling center does not accept the item for processing due to one of the factors noted above.

Residents have shared their desire to continue recycling programs in Chandler.  Recycling was the number one service selected by respondents in a survey completed earlier this year, in which they were asked which solid waste and recycling services were most important to them, other than weekly trash service.

In order to keep its recycling program alive and healthy, the City is working to remind residents the importance of taking extra care to recycle right.

Recent changes to what can be recycled can be narrowed down to the simple topics: the elimination of shredded paper and the types of plastics that are allowed. But these two simple changes are sometimes hard habits to break.

Shredded paper is the easier of the two to explain. The bags holding the shredded paper were causing issues with the equipment, and this type of paper is difficult to capture through the current sorting process.

So, residents are asked to bag and tie their shredded paper and dispose of it with their regular trash.

The change to the types of plastics allowed is a more difficult habit to break.

Only plastic bottles and jugs are now accepted for recycling in Chandler. These are items such as milk jugs, water bottles and detergent bottles. All other plastic products are no longer accepted by the recycling processor due to market conditions.

This includes items such as plastic cups, tubs, berry clamshell containers, food trays and take out containers. Any plastic items besides bottles and jugs should be reused or bag and tied and placed in the trash.

Other items that can continue to be recycled include paper, cardboard, metal cans and food and beverage glass bottles and jars.  All items should be empty and free from food or liquids.

City staff is doing a tremendous amount of outreach right now to educate and inform residents about these changes. You might have already seen social media posts and bus shelter ads with reminders.

In May, water customers will be receiving an insert with their water bill reminding them how to “Recycle Right.” Staff is also promoting the Recycle Coach app available for Apple and Android devices, and the City’s website chandleraz.gov/recycle features a tool in which you can enter an item into the search tool to see if it’s recyclable.

In addition, two teams of solid waste environmental specialists perform regular inspections throughout the City to ensure compliance.

If they spot an item that shouldn’t be in the container, they will leave an informational flyer on the bin, remove an item as a one-time courtesy or even leave information and turn the bin so it will not be collected.

This last option is for recycling containers that have excessive amounts of non-recyclable items or items that cause health and safety issues such as diapers and hygiene products, pet waste, liquids, chemicals, and other hazardous materials.

They provide this service to better educate Chandler residents about the changes and reduce contamination sent to the recycling processor.

You may be wondering, “What’s the big deal? What harm will it cause if I put the wrong item in the bin?”  It might seem insignificant, but the costs can really add up.

Not only is the City charged a processing fee, an additional fee is charged for the disposal of these items. That is why residents are encouraged to use all of the tools to make the right choice, but if in doubt, you are asked to throw it out.

Items that are not accepted by the recycling processor are landfilled so it is essential to place items in the curbside bin that are actually being recycled and made into new products.

The bottom line? Recycling helps protect the environment. It keeps valuable items out of the waste stream and reduces what goes into the landfill. It also helps ensure we have resources for the future. Let’s all recycle right.

For questions, or for more information, please visit chandleraz.gov/recycle, or call 480-782-3510.

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