The city of Scottsdale does not have a strategic plan for commercial recycling and members of the municipality’s environmental quality advisory board say the time is now to realize the problem and create a plan to accomplish greater waste diversion.
Alisa McMahon, the board’s chairwoman, said the Solid Waste Department did a cost-of-service study in March and determined that the rates for commercial refuse and recycling needed to be raised significantly to cover the cost of service.
Contradicting the Solid Waste Department’s study, the environmental quality advisory board wrote a memo to the Scottsdale City Council saying, “Operational efficiencies and cost savings should be implemented before a rate increase, not after.”
In that memo, the EQAB proposed to develop a strategic plan that should grow waste diversion across all sectors.
“Our position was to look at growing the program to make it more cost effective, don’t just price it (commercial recycling) off the market so that it doesn’t exist anymore,” McMahon said.
EQAB added in the memo that the city council received a letter from a tourist who was so “horrified” at the state of recycling in Scottsdale that she took the time to write a letter urging the city to “join the modern age” and become more environmentally friendly.
Steven Schlosser, vice-chair of EQAB, said that this issue is larger than just a business issue.
“Part of what you have to be able to do is recognize that there’s a cost to greatness, you just can’t say if it doesn’t make money than we don’t have to be great in that area,” Schlosser said.
Editor’s note: Mr. Castro is a journalism student at Arizona State University