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More enforcement coming to how you recycle in Tucson

2019-03-25 Recycling-bales.jpg
Posted at 9:46 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 00:09:59-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — The City of Tucson has seen success with recent changes to its recycling program.

Since switching to every other week for curbside pickup, Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik says it's saving the city a lot of money.

"Instead of going every week and pickup up a bin that's 20 percent full, we're going every other week and picking up bins that are 80 percent full," Kozachik said. "So it's less wear and tear on the vehicles, less fuel, less emissions from the vehicles."

The Mayor and Council made the decision last week to make the pickup schedule permanent. They also voted to enforce the 3 strike contamination rule, which has been in effect for a while, but hasn't been implemented. It's expected to help the city crack down on contaminated items in blue bins.

Kozachik says almost a third of all items that people try to recycle are contaminated, and simply don't belong in the bins.

With the 3 strike rule, recyling truck drivers who find bins that are egregiously contaminated three times will pull them off the street.

Kozachik says these policies won't bring the city back to the break-even point for recycling, but it will help.

"People's irresponsibility is costing the rest of taxpayers $400,000 a year," he said. "If you don't want to lose the recycle bin, then play by the rules."