Another City of Tucson recycling center closed due to illegal dumping

KOLD News at 10 p.m. on Saturdays
Published: Nov. 6, 2022 at 7:54 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The City of Tucson’s recycling center off of 22nd and Alvernon just closed at the end of October.

The City originally started with 13 recycling centers. But when they started facing challenges with people overfilling the bins or dumping things that were not recyclable, they dropped that down to seven. The problem has persisted and now there are only four left.

People who live in the area of the latest closure were upset to see the recycling center close.

″I’m one of those people who broke down the boxes, put all the right stuff. So, for people like me, it’s extremely frustrating and inconvenient,” said Alex Herrera. He has used the recycling center since it opened.

Mark Beach has recycled his trash at this center for at least five years.

″It’s an unfortunate thing, we need to be able to recycle so that we’re not filling up the landfills with all this stuff.”

Residents and other people who came to drop off items for recycling were shocked when they found the recycling bins at the 22nd and Alvernon location gone. Along with a notice from the City of Tucson saying the center was officially closed.

″I’m going to have to go home tonight and see where else I can go to recycle,” said Beach.

The City of Tucson made the decision to close the center after longtime issues with illegal dumping and several other issues.

“Unfortunately because people would leave things on the ground, we actually had a couple of people who were injured because people would pile up the cardboard and they slipped....We actually had those bins set on fire,” said Public Information Officer for the City’s Environmental Services Cristina Polsgrove.

According to Polsgrove, the bins were constantly overfilled despite the City adding more bins, picking up the recycling six days a week, and having clean up crews go out five days a week. Even with the closure of yet another recycling center, she said it has not affected recycling numbers.

″Most of our residents have it at their home and they can actually get a second recycling container at no extra cost if they have a lot of recycling,” she explained.

There are no current plans to close any of the other remain recycling centers, but it is something the City will evaluate over time especially if illegal dumping becomes an issue.

You can find a list of the remaining recycling centers here.