There is a big change coming for people who live in Surprise, Arizona.
Next Monday, the recycling program Surprise has used for well over a decade is ending. Now residents will have to find a new solution – at least those who want to continue recycling.
Ironically, today is trash day so both the recycling and trash bins are out. However, officials say this all comes down to money. Right now, the city is spending three times as much to process recycled materials as they are processing regular trash.
Residents in Surprise have been separating their recyclables from their trash for the past 15 years now. In fact, 24 percent of current trash in Surprise is being converted into recyclables.
But starting next week, the recycling program will be coming to an end. While the supply of recycled materials continues to grow, the demand for recycled goods simply isn’t keeping pace.
“Due to lack of demand, it doesn’t pay to sort the recycling out in a way that recovers that, and so it’s simply easier and more cost efficient for the recycling center to not sort that and send it to the landfill,” said Public Works Director Mike Gent.
The city says that they hope to bring back a recycling program once they find a more cost-effective solution.
In the mean time, neighbors are encouraged not to break their routine and to continue to separate their trash from recyclables and place them in the blue bins. But for right now, both bins will be sent to the landfill.
One solution the City of Surprise is considering is asking other nearby municipalities to come by and form a regional recycling program. However, it could take years to sort out those details and get a program like that up and running.