A new pilot project in the city of Surprise, Ariz., is coupling recycling with 3D-printing technology to give a new life to discarded plastic. The city is conducting the pilot program with the support of The Connective, the smart city consortium for the greater Phoenix region, and is made possible through the 2022 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, hosted by Leading Cities in partnership with QBE North America.

Through that challenge, Automedi won City Solution of the Year and received a monetary prize to fund the project. The winning solution involves using Automedi’s solution to turn plastic waste into functional products with 3D-printing technology.

Recycling has been a challenge for the city for several years, and was made even more challenging when China began restricting recycling imports, explained Eric Fitzer, director of strategic initiatives for the city. That import restriction pushed the city to examine its recycling program, finding that a large percentage of the city’s recycling was going to a landfill. At that point, the city stopped processing its own recycling.

This past year, the City Council wanted to bring back the recycling program through a contracted service, while also exploring other waste management options that might improve the traditional recycling program. Through The Connective, the city came across Automedi’s solution, opting to deploy three 3D printers throughout the community.

To read the full story, visit https://www.govtech.com/civic/an-arizona-city-is-folding-new-tech-into-its-recycling-program.
Author: Julia Edinger, Government Technology
Photo by Magda Ehlers: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-plastic-bottles-2547565/