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Phoenix trash deal would spend money to save landfill space

PHOENIX – City leaders are being asked to sign off on three projects to transform trash into resources. They are part of the city’s ongoing effort to divert 40 percent of its waste away from landfills by 2020, called Reimagine Phoenix.

The largest project would involve keeping an estimated 56,000 mattresses out of the landfill each year. The proposed three-year deal calls for Goodwill of Central Arizona to charge Phoenix $7 per mattress. Goodwill workers would disassemble them and sell the steel, wood, foam and fabric, which would be reused for new products.

According to a city report, it costs about $11 for each mattress that ends up in the landfill and the contract is not expected to go over $392,000 per year.

Another contract with Planet Recycling, a carpet recycling dumpster rental company, involves no money changing hands, just carpet and carpet foam for now. The plan calls for Planet Recycling to pick up approximately 540 tons from the city’s transfer station and take it to its Phoenix facility for testing.

Planet Recycling will sell carpet and foam that can be remanufactured into new products and return what cannot be reused to the city. Although an evaluation panel recommended city staff negotiate with Planet Recycling, a city report says the company is unable to contract at this time due to changes in the market that use recycled carpet fiber. However, future negotiations could take place.

The final deal involves a pilot project with Recycled City, LLC. The company will charge Phoenix about $12,000 per year to pick up food compost from City Hall, the Calvin Goode Building and Fire Station No. 1. The food will be taken to Recycled City’s composting facilities.

Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee will vote Tuesday to recommend city council approval.

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