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Gilbert changes recycling program amid shrinking material demand

(Flickr photo)

PHOENIX – The town of Gilbert has announced changes to its curbside recycling program to better align with stricter industry contamination standards and the shrinking demand for certain materials.

The materials that can be recycled in residents’ bins will now only include:

  • Cardboard: Broken down with all packing materials removed. No soiled/greasy items.
  • Metal: Aluminum, steel and tin food and beverage cans only.
  • Paper: Except soiled, shredded, metallic, waxed or tissue.
  • Plastic: Bottles, jugs and jars only.

If a material is not listed, the town urges residents to not put it in their recycling bin.

The change removes glass and certain softer plastics – like grocery bags – from Gilbert’s recycling program.

“These changes are happening because the recycling market has just kind of been on a downward turn for the last several years since China stopped taking our recycling materials,” Jessica Marlow, Gilbert’s public works director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Marlow noted because there is not a buyer for these materials, most of the time the items are sorted out of recycling bins and taken to the landfills anyways.

Gilbert residents are asked to start following the new guidelines as soon as possible, with a goal to reach full community participation by September.

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