The City of Scottsdale will begin sending recyclable material to the City of Phoenix after the two sides approved an agreement. The Phoenix City Council adopted the agreement at its April 1 meeting after the Scottsdale City Council approved on consent the agreement at its March 17 meeting. With the deal in place, Scottsdale will send its recyclable to Phoenix for the next year, after which there are four one-year options available to the municipalities.
Also part of Scottsdale’s approval is a budget transfer of up to $550,000 from the solid waste fund operating reserve to the solid waste management operating budget to “cover unforeseen circumstances that impact the landfill disposal, recycling disposal costs and recycling processing fee.
Scottsdale will also make adjustments to its original contract with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to better provide alternative delivery of recyclables. The need for the deal came about because the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Material Recycling Facility suffered a fire on Oct. 26, 2019 that put it out of commission for at least 18-24 months with a worst-case scenario of being totally lost.
Prior to the fire, Scottsdale had delivered all of its recyclable material to the facility since its opening in 2001. In the interim, Scottsdale was sending its recyclables to a landfill at a cost of $27 per ton, leading to a negative variance in the solid waste budget.
SRPMIC is seeking alternative arrangements to processing Scottsdale’s recyclables but hadn’t designated an alternative recycling facility. There are only five facilities in Maricopa County. With no alternative in place, the city’s Solid Waste Department began searching for alternatives outside of the SRPMIC contract and concluded partnering with Phoenix was the best option.