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City wants to triple recycling in Phoenix by 2020

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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:49 pm

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton would like to see more recycling in the city of Phoenix.

During his state of the city address the mayor announced plans for a city-wide program called “40 by 20.” The goal of “40 by 20” is to reach a city-wide 40 percent diversion rate of waste from landfills by the year 2020.

“The more we integrate sustainable practices and strategy in our everyday lives, the more we see improvement in our economies, communities and environment. Sustainable practices, such as recycling, not only protect our city’s natural assets but also spur the local economy,” Stanton said. “I encourage all Phoenix residents to do their part in reaching our 40 percent diversion rate goal.”

Phoenix’s diversion rate for 2011-12 is 13 percent, which is below the national average. The Public Works Department hopes to triple the city’s diversion rate through outreach, education and possible economic incentives to residents, according to a statement from the city.

Residents, businesses and industries produce enough solid waste to fill Chase Field to the top 14 times every year, according to city officials. The “40 by 20” plan would work to provide education, change the conversation, and protect city assets.

As part of the goal to change the conversation, the city will use “40 by 20” as a catalyst for the creation of a Center for Excellence in Solid Waste Research, which will be formed through a partnership between the Public Works Department and Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability. The partnership was recently approved by the Phoenix City Council. Its goal will be to identify new solutions and uses for solid waste.

The city hopes the new initiative will protect assets by extending the life span of existing landfills and delaying future investments funded by customers.

For more information on how to recycle in Phoenix, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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