By Teri Carnicelli
The city of Phoenix is both launching and expanding two new programs this month aimed at reducing waste in city landfills.
The new Save As You Reduce and Recycle (SAY R&R) offers residents that currently have curbside trash pick-up service the option to downsize their current large trash container to a medium trash container for a monthly savings of $3 on their solid waste services bill.
A medium trash container has the capacity to hold four full, 13-gallon kitchen trash bags, versus a large trash container that can hold five full kitchen trash bags.
Customers are required to have curbside trash collection and be enrolled in the city’s recycling program (blue barrels) before they can sign up for the SAY R&R program.
Once residents sign up for the SAY R&R program, their new, smaller trash barrel should be delivered within one week. Residents may sign up for this program starting July 7.
The city also is expanding its Green Organics Curbside Collection, which launched as a pilot program in the Arcadia area in February 2012. This voluntary program provides a new, large, tan container for yard waste, such as grass clippings, shrubs, twigs and branches. This program is perfect for households that like to do their own landscaping maintenance and/or own large properties. The additional monthly fee for the Green Organics Collection program will be $5 a month per tan container requested.
There are certain materials that aren’t allowed in the tan container because they would contaminate the green organics load and make them unusable for mulching and repurposing. Those prohibited materials include: oleander, palm fronds, treated or painted wood, trash and food waste, recyclables, pyracantha and creosote.
“The department didn’t need to purchase new vehicles to provide this new service because staff has identified efficiencies and existing resources that could be utilized for this program,” says Public Works Deputy Director Felipe Moreno. “As for the barrels, the unused dark green containers we currently have were simply exchanged for tan colored ones.”
Moreno says the goal of the Green Organics program, as well as the Save As You Reduce and Recycle program, is to minimize the amount of trash the city sends to the landfill.
“The initial cost savings will mainly come from the decrease in number of trips to the landfill in west Buckeye, which saves the city fuel and vehicle maintenance costs,” Moreno points out. “A large portion of what we landfill is composed of green waste. With this program, we divert that green waste, thus preserving our landfill space.”
The green waste collected in the new tan barrels will be processed and mulched in the Phoenix transfer station located on 27th Avenue south of Lower Buckeye Road.
The Green Organics Curbside Collection program will be offered to residents in phases. Residents with both curbside and alley trash collection are eligible to participate. Additionally, customers are not required to participate in the recycling program to qualify for Green Organics.
For the next rollout in July, the area to be added is from 1-17 to just east of 32nd Street, and from Dunlap south to Camelback Road. Some portions east of Central Avenue will continue south to Thomas Road. Also, the majority of the area from approximately 7th Avenue to 16th Street just south of Dunlap Avenue is not included in the July program.
Residents interested in the Green Organics Curbside Collection may sign up starting Monday, July 7, by visiting phoenix.gov/publicworks, where they also can determine when Green Organics Curbside Collection will be offered in their area.
For more information about the SAY R&R and Green Organics Curbside Collection programs, call 602-262-7251.