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Big changes proposed for Phoenix trash system

PHOENIX — Phoenix city leaders set a goal to divert 40 percent of waste by 2020. At present, the city’s diversion rate is 16 percent.

To meet its goal, Phoenix’s Public Works Department is proposing big changes, including a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) System. People would pay less for using smaller 60-gallon trash containers instead of the traditional 90-gallon containers.

In a report to the city manager, the Public Works director also calls for expanding collection of green organics like grass, tree clippings and brush. Currently, curbside green organics collection is only available in select areas.

The report also calls for replacing the quarterly bulk trash collection with an on-call program that would let residents request two bulk trash pickups per year. The final change requested includes increased community education and outreach.

The changes could boost the city’s diversion rate to 22-27 percent. City council members could be asked to approve the changes by as early as next year.