Phoenix Wants to Double Recycled Trash by 2020Phoenix Wants to Double Recycled Trash by 2020
September 22, 2015
The Arizona Republic
Two years ago, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announced an ambitious goal: The city would more than double the amount of trash it diverts from landfills and into recycling facilities by 2020.
The goal was ambitious for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Phoenix has had overall landfill diversion rates well below 20 percent for the past five years. The residential rate alone, anchored by the curbside barrels provided to residents, has fared better, but still has reached just 20 percent for the past two years, according to city records.
The figures fall well short of the national average of 35 percent tracked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and far below many other large cities, particularly those in California, and other places such as Seattle, Portland and Salt Lake City — places where state or local mandates helped bolster recycling efforts and fueled diversion rates well above 50 percent in many cases.