Over one million tons of solid waste is taken to the city's SR85 Landfill each year. Approximately half is from residences and the other half from commercial entities like schools, apartments, factories, stores and offices.
This total amount and volume of material could fill Chase Field top to bottom at least seven times each year! It is also equal to about one ton of garbage per resident per year or 28 full garbage curbside containers per year.
In 2050, Phoenix will create ZERO WASTE through participation in the "Circular Economy." In the short term, we will proceed on the target to divert 40% of waste by 2020. Everything is technically recyclable , but the cost is prohibitive for many products used today. To move toward Zero Waste by 2050, three key actions are needed:
Expanding the current recycling program to remove commonly recycled products from the waste stream (and reducing the number of non-recyclable products from the recycle bins) through public education and awareness campaigns and new programs that increase access to recycling services for residents and businesses.
Increasing the number of products recyclable by incubating local businesses to capture new products from the waste stream. The City of Phoenix has established the Resource Innovation Campus at the 91 Ave Waste Transfer Station to supporting new businesses, and is also constructing a new Compost Facility for the processing of green waste and organics.
Supporting the transition to a Circular Economy and encouraging the retail industry to provide products that are either 100% recyclable or able to be repurposed at end of life.
What are we doing now?
Reimagine Phoenix is the city's initiative to increase the city's waste diversion rate to 40 percent by 2020, and to better manage its solid waste resources. As of late 2015, Phoenix's waste diversion rate is at 20 percent, but expansion of its community and educational outreach on the five pillars--reduce, reuse, recycle, reconsider and reimagine--hopes to increase awareness of the importance of waste diversion and management. Additionally, the Public Works Department offers solid waste programs to make waste diversion more convenient for residents, as well as partners with the public and private sectors to find solutions to current sustainability issues. Check out the right side menu to look at Phoenix's many programs designed to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reconsider, and Reimagine waste.