A pilot program that turns unrecyclable plastic waste into multicolored building blocks is growing citywide in Tucson. Mayor Regina Romero and the City Council approved a four-year service agreement with ByFusion, a Los Angeles-based company that converts plastic waste into construction material. The partnership will advance Tucson’s goals to “move past the traditional landfill model and into an era of regenerative waste-to-asset activities,” the agreement said.
ByFusion started partnering with Tucson’s Ward 6 about 10 months ago to collect and transform unrecyclable plastics. The waste is collected in a bright orange 22 cubic-yard container at the back of the building, then picked up by the city’s Environmental Services trucks and emptied at Tank’s Speedway Recycling and Landfill. There, Tank’s bales the waste into 12-ton loads and ships it to California so ByFusion can turn it into blocks.
ByFusion will now build the blocks in Tucson. The city signed a $1 million contract and will pay $2.4 million extra to build a facility at Los Reales Sustainability Campus, where the company will operate a Blocker machine, called a Micro Diversion Platform. Though for now, the plastic must be left at city drop-off sites, the company is considering offering curbside pickup services to residents, too. All the hard-to-recycle plastic waste, numbered 3 through 7, which can’t go into the blue bin, can be deposited there.
To read the full story, visit https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-environment/2023/05/24/tucson-approves-new-plastic-recycling-program-in-zero-waste-effort/70225775007/#.
Author: Clare Migoya, Arizona Republic, AZCentral.com
Image: Diannie Chavez, Arizona Republic, AZCentral.com