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Tucson may temporarily stop recycling glass and newspapers

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Posted at 6:12 AM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 20:17:47-04

TUCSON — Citing sharply escalating financial losses in the recycling program, Tucson officials say the city might have to stop taking glass bottles and newspapers until markets recover nationally or globally.

The markets for those two products have collapsed in the past 18 months because of a Chinese crackdown on recyclable imports and continued declines in glass and paper recycling industries in the U.S.

According to reports, Tucson's expected recycling-program loss for fiscal year 2018-19 is now $3.3 million.

That's six times what the city's Environmental Services Department predicted last summer.

Tucson officials also are considering scaling back recycling collections from weekly to twice monthly.

They are also looking at the possibility of raising monthly recycling fees charged to homeowners to 75 cents. That would be a 30-cent hike.