In honor of National Recycling Day on November 15, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego was joined by city officials at the North Gateway Transfer Station to address the city’s goal for zero waste and celebrate what is currently being done to reach this goal. Serving as a perfect venue for the occasion, the North Gateway Transfer Station is one of the two solid waste management facilities where trash and recyclables are brought to be processed.
Phoenix Public Works Director Joe Giudice started the conference by noting that because Phoenix produces such a large amount of waste, it is vital that proactive steps are taken to not only limit waste, but to start seeing waste as a resource that can be utilized through reuse.
Paired with the challenge to press towards these goals, the conference also had a tone of celebration, praising all that the community has done to take significant leaps in the direction of sustainability.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the incredible work of Keep Phoenix Beautiful,” Gallego went on to say. “Thank you to Cindy and your team for your work to support Phoenix residents in beautifying their homes and neighborhoods and living sustainably.” Throughout 2021, Keep Phoenix Beautiful partnered with Phoenix Public Works to spread the word throughout the community about the importance of recycling on America Recycles Day on November 15 every year.
During the conference, Gallego introduced the new mascot for the City of Phoenix’s Public Works Department – Zero, whose mission will be advocating for a zero-waste future.
“This new mascot will, in partnership with Recyclesaurus [Keep Phoenix Beautiful’s mascot], continue to ensure that the community is educated on the importance of living a zero-waste lifestyle and how you can do your part to improve waste impacts,” she said.
Gallego explained the vision of the city’s waste efforts and how waste can be turned into a valuable resource as she prepared to wrap up the conference with her major announcement:
“Phoenix is also a pioneer in turning diverted waste into a resource, creating a circular economy that creates lasting value for products,” she said.
The fact that waste has been limited but not eliminated brings about the perspective of seeing waste as something that can be utilized to bring about a benefit. Gallego went on to explain that the city’s work to make recycled goods into marketable products has brought about over four million dollars in revenue and created 68 jobs.
This is without question a significant push towards utilizing waste as a resource. With the innovative minds working behind the scenes and the dedicated residents doing their part, the city of Phoenix is well on its way to achieving the goal to be a zero-waste city by 2050.
Finally, Gallego announced, “Now, therefore, I, Kate Gallego, Mayor of the City of Phoenix, Arizona to hereby proclaim November 15, 2021 as Phoenix Recycles Day… and [I] ask each resident to join me in pledging to recycle and live sustainably.”
This proclamation serves as a step forward for the City of Phoenix, demonstrating the importance of sustainability and zero waste on multiple levels.