The Complete Guide to Phoenix Recycling and Waste Disposal
Learn What is Recyclable and Where to Take It for a Greener Phoenix
It was only a few years ago that Phoenix was considered “the most un-sustainable city in the U.S." Fortunately, our city has stepped up since that time with initiatives to improve our air quality, use greener energy alternatives, reduce waste, and encourage sustainable land use. However, all Phoenix residents need to work together to get the job of creating a more sustainable city done. Knowing what is recyclable and what can safely go into your trash can is one of the simplest ways to do your part. You’ll be ensuring that hazardous items are properly handled so that they don’t pollute our soil, air, or water, and that important resources are conserved. Use this guide to find Phoenix recycling options for all the stuff you shouldn’t throw in the trash.
If you’re the kind of Do-It-Yourself-er who handles car maintenance in your own garage—or if you’re a Pass-It-Along-er who likes to kick back and watch a DIY family member do your dirty work for you—it’s important than you’re disposing of your automotive waste safely. Materials in this waste category often contain chemicals that are either hazardous to the environment or use up massive quantities of resources to produce. In many cases, they contain both. To protect our city’s health and sustainability, automotive waste should be handled differently than your normal trash. Luckily, there are many Phoenix recycling options for these materials.
When you do right by your conked-out battery, the lead it contains can be recycled for use in new batteries or other products. Meanwhile, the other harmful substances it contains can be disposed of in a safe and healthy manner. Never chuck an old car battery into the trash. Let one of these locations take care of it responsibly.
Gasoline contains over 100 different chemicals that can harm people or animals if they get into our air, soil, or water. It is also extremely flammable. NEVER throw gasoline out with your household trash, pour it down a drain, or mix it with any other fluids. Ensure that it’s safely disposed of by following these guidelines.
Many automotive fluids can be recycled in processes that conserve resources and require less energy than producing them from raw materials. Those fluids that can’t be recycled should be disposed of at the proper facilities to prevent pollution, since all of these substances contain chemicals that are harmful to people, animals, and the environment.
In a landfill, methane gas will build up inside of a decomposing tire until it explodes, releasing toxic gas into the air and damaging landfill infrastructure. When recycled, old tires can find new life as fuel, building materials, ground cover, and even asphalt. Instead of setting your old tires out at the curb, drop them off at one of these locations.
Construction & Remodeling Materials
Construction debris is the largest waste category in the U.S., and is something we collect a lot of with our Phoenix dumpster rentals. If we’re trying to limit the number of landfills our city requires—and all the health and environmental dangers they can cause—it’s important to find alternatives to the landfill for as much of our remodeling and construction debris as possible. That’s why we’ve rounded up Phoenix recycling options for all of the most common materials you’ll find yourself dealing with as you work on turning your home into your castle.
A single roof can hold as much as 8 tons of shingles, depending on the size of the home and how many layers of shingles are currently in place. When it’s time to replace those shingles with new ones, save landfill space and conserve important resources by sending your old shingles to one of these facilities.
Nationwide, over 5 billion tons of carpeting ends up in landfills every year. Luckily, when it’s time to change up the flooring in your home, your old carpet can be recycled into new, healthier flooring material instead of taking up landfill space and polluting our air. Instead of throwing your rugs in the trash, check out these carpet recycling facilities.
Oil-based paints contain chemicals which can poison our water when they’re not disposed of properly. Latex paint can be recycled into new paint or even into concrete, cement, or other such materials. Never throw left over paint in the trash or pour it down a drain. Let one of these locations make sure that it’s disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
Mining for metals and refining them into a usable form are processes that take a significant toll on the environment, making it important to reuse the metals we already have. Earn yourself some extra cash and take your scrap metal to one of these recyclers.
Electronics & Appliances
Electronics and appliances are made up of materials, including plastic, glass, and various metals, that require large quantities of energy to produce or significant environmental disruption to procure. As newer and better versions of all our electronics become available at ever-faster rates, the amount of e-waste Phoenix residents send to the landfill every year is also growing at an alarming pace. Electronics consigned to the landfill can pollute our water, poison our soil, and harm our wildlife. That’s why we’ve rounded up plenty of Phoenix recycling facilities for all the electronics and appliances in your home.
The plastic, silicon, iron, and other metals that make up these devices can all be recycled for use in new devices. Meanwhile, components like CPUs and motherboards are made with toxic metals that shouldn't be thrown out. Conserve resources and lessen pollution by taking your old computers and cellphones to one of these locations.
Did you know that a TV can contain up to eight pounds of lead? When a TV ends up in a landfill alongside more harmless trash, that lead is poised to leach out into our soil and water. Instead of leaving it at the curb, let one of these facilities ensure that your TV is handled properly.
Sometimes, it’s not just because of the harmful substances they contain that make it important to keep certain items out of landfills. Sometimes, it’s a matter of preserving landfill space for more desirable substance. Help protect our environment, conserve resources, and preserve landfill space by taking your old appliances to any of the following locations.
A catch-all category that encompasses many of the items we deal with most frequently. A lot of these items are everyday things that you probably rarely think twice about tossing in the garbage can. However, there are Phoenix recycling options for all of this stuff, and taking advantage of those options will go a long way toward increasing our city’s health and sustainability. It’s also important to note that some of these everyday items are very dangerous for animals and the environment and can cause real harm when they end up in a landfill. So, consult this list to find out how to handle your household junk responsibly.
Mattresses contain a great many components that are ripe for repurposing. In fact, 90% of any mattress can be recycled. This is good news: because mattresses resist compression, they take up far more landfill space than their actual dimensions imply. When it’s time for a new night’s sleep, let one of the following organizations take care of your old mattress.
With so many Phoenix families struggling to make ends meet, it’s a shame to ever throw out clothing or bedding that is still in usable condition. Anything in good condition can be passed along to a struggling Phoenix resident at one of these locations.
Medical waste should NEVER be thrown out with your household trash, flushed down the toilet, or poured down a drain. Medical waste MUST be disposed of according to the instructions below.
Dispose of Syringes, needles or sharps at home:
Place syringes, needles, or sharps inside a sturdy container with a lid, like an old detergent or bleach bottle. To deter possible scavengers, you can also add an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or cat litter to the container. Seal the lid with duct tape. Label the container “Do Not Recycle” then place it in your trash. Do not use a glass or see-through plastic container. DO NOT place your container into a recycling bin.
When there are still so many families in our community struggling with hunger, letting good food go to waste is a tragedy. Unused, nonperishable food can always become a meal for someone hungry rather than being thrown away. Even leftovers and perishable foods that can’t be donated can be composted into healthy new soil rather than left to rot in the landfill.
For Everything Else...
For any items that can’t be recycled in Phoenix, consult this list of landfills and transfer stations throughout Maricopa County. Note that these sites will not accept hazardous waste. Hazardous waste must be disposed of at one of the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off events.
North Gateway Transfer Station
30205 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, AZ
27th Avenue Transfer Station
3060 S. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ
City of Glendale Landfill
11480 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, AZ
Arizona Waste Services Transfer Stations
1500 S. 7th St. Or 6711 S. Mountain Road
Cave Creek Transfer Station
1855 E Deer Valley Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Deer Valley Transfer Station
2130 W. Adobe Drive, Phoenix, AZ
Lone Butte Transfer Station
1000 S. Kyrene, Chandler, AZ
White Tanks Transfer Station
18605 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ
Sky Harbor Transfer Station
2425 S. 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ
Northwest Regional Landfill
19401 W. Deer Valley Road, Surprise, AZ
Arizona Waste Services Landfill
22481 E. Deepwell Ranch Rd.
Butterfield Station Landfill
40404 S. 99th Avenue, Mobile, AZ
State Route 85 Landfill
28361 W. Patterson Road, Buckeye, AZ
Southwest Regional Landfill
24427 S. Highway 85 Buckeye, AZ
Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Landfill
13602 E. Beeline Highway, Scottsdale, AZ
Sustainable Success Stories in Phoenix
While Phoenix is still recovering from our recent past as “the most un-sustainable city in the U.S.," there are many people and organizations in our city that are stepping up to help turn the tables. While Phoenix residents likely associate businesses with the unscrupulous practices that contributed to the environmental and health problems we’re still fighting, they can’t all be painted with the same brush. Here are just a couple standouts among the Phoenix businesses that are making sustainability a key feature of their business models.
R2EWaste Refurbishes or Repurposes Anything Electronic
Electronic waste is a big problem for the Phoenix community—clogging our landfills and contributing to pollution and a loss of important resources. R2EWaste is working hard to change that. R2EWaste takes outdated computers, cell phones, and just about any other electronic item you can think of and saves them from the landfill. Each electronic they collect is either refurbished for donation to schools or charities, or broken down for resources.
The glass, steel, copper, nickel, and plastic that electronics contain are sold to manufacturers to find new life in a wide array of useful products. Any still useable components, like sound cards, memory cards, or hard drives are sold to consumers at reduced rates. In short, R2EWaste makes sure that every possible component of every item they take in is either reused or turned into something new. They’re so successful at what they do that 99.5% of every computer they receive is recycled, saving tons of harmful waste from the landfill every year.
Discover Books Makes Reading Fun—damentally Green
Books are invaluable resources that not only help us learn but to grow as people by giving us access to a limitless variety of perspectives and experiences. Books can make such a strong impression on us that many books become lifelong friends, reread until they fall apart. And yet we all also have those book shelves that haven’t been touched in years. Used bookstores are the classic solution for books you no longer want to read, but what happens when the bookstore can’t sell everything? They’d end up in the landfill—if Discover Books weren’t here to save the day.
Discover Books accepts used books through a network of drop-off sites throughout Phoenix. Some are donated to schools, libraries, and other charities in under-served areas. Others are sold. Those that are in too poor condition to donate or sell are responsibly recycled. Discover Books also helps libraries and thrift stores dispose of their overstock in the most charitable or environmentally sound manner. With Discover Books, the stories you never got around to reading will either become someone else’s favorites or find new life as a useful product.