A new city-produced television program called "Talking Trash" aims to promote reducing and recycling Phoenix's garbage.

City officials also have embarked upon a public relations campaign in conjunction with the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful to educate residents on what can and cannot be recycled.

Every day, items such as yard clippings, food waste and plastic bags end up in the city's blue recycling containers, according to Michael Hammett, a city spokesman and host of Talking Trash. These items are not recyclable and can contaminate large amounts of recyclable material, costing time and money, he said.

"The campaign takes a humorous approach by partnering a recyclable item, such as newspapers or glass, with something that is clearly not recyclable, such as a skunk or a hamster," Hammett said.

The first episode of Talking Trash aired last Thursday on the public station Phoenix 11. It's expected to air at 8 p.m. on Thursdays through December, and online at www.phoenix.gov/11.

The premiere episode featured recipes for non-toxic household cleaners, a profile of a local man who traded his aerospace career to launch a business turning discarded wine bottles into glassware, and information about recycling, such as where recycling materials end up and how it keeps solid waste fees low.


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