A recent survey from the City of Tucson's Environmental Services (ES) department found that approximately 90 percent of Tucsonans regularly set out their blue barrels for recycling, but 20 percent of the material put in barrels is not recyclable.
Contamination - especially food, yard waste, and dirty diapers - can ruin a complete truckload of recyclables. Plastic bags, garden hoses, and clothing also can cause problems. Some of the things that go through the plant also are potentially harmful to the health and safety of the workers.
Recycling is a positive for Tucson. It helps conserve resources, extend the life of the landfill, reduce our carbon footprint, and it's economically beneficial for our City and customers, so it's important we do it right.
The local recycling processor sells the recyclables and divides the profits with the City. Those revenues help ES offset a portion of collection costs and keep rates stable for our customers. ES residential collection rates have not increased for four years.