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Council OKs 2 Reimagine Phoenix Proposals

Table courtesy of City of Phoenix

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

The Reimagine Phoenix initiative spearheaded by the city’s Public Works Department gained initial approval of its first two proposal recommendations from the City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Tuesday.

The waste collection and processing effort seeks to divert 40 percent of materials currently sent to landfills into energy or other innovative repurposing projects by 2020. (AZBEX, June 23)

At Tuesday’s meeting Assistant Public Works Director Ginger Spencer presented the department’s first two recommendations resulting from its Call For Innovators and RFP processes launched earlier this year.

In the first, the department recommended entering into a contract with Goodwill of Arizona to recycle mattresses. Currently, landfills receive approximately 56,000 mattresses per year, which cost $11 each to process. Ninety percent of mattress materials, including steel springs, foam and fiber can be recycled.

Under the proposal with Goodwill, the city will pay $7 per unit to recycle mattresses, resulting in a net savings of approximately $200K per year. The contract will create 20-25 jobs. Residents and recyclers will be encouraged to bring mattresses to city transfer stations for processing as part of the program’s outreach efforts.

In the second recommendation, the department expressed its desire to award a $12K contract to Recycled City to divert food waste from the landfill.  Under the terms, food waste from City Hall, the Calvin C. Goode Municipal Building and Fire Station #1 will be collected by Recycled City for processing in its facility and converted for use in community gardens.

Approximately 56K tons of food waste ends up in the landfill every year, Spencer said. The proposed pilot program will divert roughly 20 tons and save the city approximately $40K. The program will also be used as a learning experience, with its lessons studied for use in subsequent residential food waste diversion efforts.

As part of the pilot, presentations will be given to departments in the city offices, and flyers will be posted in the buildings’ break rooms. The department will also work with Recycled City to develop additional education efforts.

Both proposals were unanimously approved by the subcommittee. The recommendations now go before the full council for a vote next month.

CFIs have been issued in six categories, including manufacturers with market-ready processes, conversion of waste to fuel technologies and electricity, and processes for start-ups and emerging technologies. The review and recommendation process is ongoing.

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