Surprise residents who are clamoring for the return of curbside recycling have a new option to safely dispose of their materials.
In what city officials hope is the next step in eventually bringing back curbside recycling, drop-offs will be available three days a week at the Surprise Public Works North Yard, 17274 N. Litchfield Road, starting Tuesday, July 7.
Hours will be 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The program will accept empty, clean, and dry cardboard, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles to be sorted and delivered to the material recovery facility.
“We still have steps to go before we can reestablish curbside recycling,” Surprise Public Works Director Mike Gent told the City Council June 16. “This is a significant step forward.”
Mr. Gent said the good news is 100% of the material will be processed and recycled by Friedman Recycling Company in Phoenix.
“One of the reasons why the [curbside] program is currently suspended is because we haven’t been able to identify a partner that can assure us that the items we bring to them would be recycled,” Mr. Gent said. “We can be assured with our new partner down in Phoenix that they will recycle 100% of what we bring to them.”
Mr. Gent said as much as 50% of recyclables went to landfill over the last two years of the contract with Waste Management.
That’s because much of what is put in the curbside bins is considered contaminated, usually because of food.
Mr. Gent said staff that will be on hand to take the recyclables will attempt to help educate the public about what is good to recycle.
“It could lay the groundwork for the return for curbside recycling, which is what we’re all aiming for sooner rather than later,” Mr. Gent said.
The demand for the return of curbside recycling hasn’t let up since rising operation costs and the decreasing value of recyclables forced the city to suspend it last summer.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that residents want an option for recycling in the community,” Mr. Gent said.
The new option was good news to District 1 Councilman Roland Winters.
“I have so many constituents who really want to recycle,” Mr. Winters said. “And it’s a great thing we can find somebody to do it for us.”
Proof of residency will be required to drop off the recyclables.
Editor’s Note: Jason Stone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.