|Nov. 4, 2011
Recycling efforts aid community in many ways
By Councilmember Jack Sellers
As a Chandler resident, I have been impressed with several creative programs that the City has implemented in an effort to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.
Taking the saying, “one man's trash is another man's treasure,” a step further, staff in our Solid Waste Services Division created the Trash to Treasure program to divert trash from the landfill and find new life for items in usable condition.
The idea first developed when staff discovered that there were things like construction material, clothing, furniture, and other household items being dropped off for disposal. Many of the items appeared to be in moderate to good and sometimes new condition. It seemed natural to try to find opportunities for reuse rather than haul these items to the landfill.
When these items are dropped off they are collected and stored at the Solid Waste Collection Center. Each month one of five participating non-profit organizations pick-up the donated items. Currently, the City has agreements with: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Catholic Charities Community Services, Habitat for Humanity, Stardust Building Supplies, and Swift Charities for Children.
It’s important to mention that the Trash to Treasure collection site is not intended to replace other means of donation collection already in place, but simply to find opportunities to recycle items that might otherwise be discarded.
The City strongly encourages recycling and provides a number of ways to make it easier for residents to participate in our programs. Many residents are familiar with the City’s curbside recycling program in which a number of everyday items are accepted including newspaper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass and a number of other items.
There are other opportunities to recycle as well. For instance, larger items like televisions, computers or appliances can be recycled by scheduling a bulk pick-up. Another option is dropping off items like scrap metal, electronics and large pieces of cardboard at the Recycling Solid Waste Collection Center at 955 East Queen Creek Road. To accommodate residents from the multi-family or business communities, there are also 17 neighborhood drop off recycling sites throughout Chandler.
On November 15, America Recycles Day will be recognized nationally. This is a day set aside to help educate the community about the importance of recycling and encourage individuals to look for new ways to participate in recycling efforts. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to remind residents that recycling not only has an environmental impact, but also a financial one.
Approximately 75 percent of residential solid waste is trash and 25 percent is recyclable materials. Our cost to haul trash to the landfill is $37 per ton. The City receives a minimum of $25.50 per ton for recyclable materials and also receives an additional $2.35 per ton from our contractor for educational efforts plus we save the landfill cost for every ton that is recycled. Consequently, recycling efforts help to keep the rates down as revenue earned from recyclable materials helps to offset the cost of disposal. To learn more information about the City’s recycling programs visit www.chandleraz.gov or call Solid Waste Services at 480-782-3510.
For those who participate in the City’s recycling program, I thank you for your contribution in helping to reduce service costs. For others who have not yet participated, America Recycles Day is a great time to start by making a pledge to reduce personal waste through recycling.