Let’s Talk Trash: How and Why to Recycle Right in Chandler

Sept. 19, 2019
| by:
Communications and Public Affairs

If you follow the state of recycling news in Arizona, you may have heard about the array of challenges Valley cities are facing after international markets have scaled back their buying of recyclable materials.

While this may be true, Chandler's recycling program is still alive and well. However, in order for the City to continue to collect and reuse recyclable materials, it is important that residents take care to recycle right

You can do your part to keep Chandler’s recycling program healthy by recycling more accepted items and keeping non-accepted items out of the blue recycling bins.   

To put it in perspective, during the week of Sept. 8 the City randomly selected one recycling collection truck to audit. This full load of materials from blue bins in one Chandler neighborhood contained 22% non-recyclable trash, a number that is considered high by Solid Waste Division standards.

The audited load contained a large amount of non-recyclable items including plastic wrap, grocery and other plastic bags, padded envelopes and Styrofoam.

Recycling Bin In Chandler

Using this truckload as an example, please remember that Styrofoam, plastic packing materials and padded envelopes cannot be recycled by the City of Chandler. The same is true for plastic grocery bags and plastic wrap from cases of water. Plastic bags clog the recycling machinery and cause costly delays and repairs to our entire system. 

If you would like to recycle plastic bags, many grocery stores accept these bags for recycling. The stores bundle the used and torn grocery bags and ship the material to a special recycling vendor. Taking your plastic bags to these specific locations where they are accepted is a great way to ensure you’re making the biggest impact possible.

What happens when you recycle too many of the wrong things? It can actually hurt the entire recycling system. In some situations, a truck load can be so contaminated the entire batch has to be taken to a landfill, costing extra time and money to the City and its taxpayers. This is often the result when diapers, hazardous materials, liquid waste or animal waste are thrown into a recycling bin.

What can you put into the blue recycling bins? Unfortunately, packaging on many items in your home may have a recycling symbol, but that does not mean the item is acceptable for curbside recycling. Recyclable items include but are not limited to: 

  • Unbagged paper 

  • Newspapers and magazines

  • Empty and flat cardboard

  • Plastic food tubs

  • Plastic bottles from beverages, bath and laundry containers

  • Aluminum and tin cans 

  • Empty aerosol cans

  • Glass bottles and jars

For a full list of recyclable items in Chandler, visit Recyclable Items List. If you have any questions or comments about the City’s recycling program, call the Solid Waste and Recycling Division at 480-782-3510.