The City of Maricopa has contracted with Environmental Concerns Organization, Inc. to allow Maricopa residences to continue depositing their household recyclables and Household Hazardous Wastes at ECO’s Recycling Association of Maricopa facility.
The facility is located 1 mile west of State Route 347 near the Union Pacific Railroad. It’s the only material recovery facility, waste transfer station and waste tire collection site within Maricopa, according to Gina D’Abella, ECO’s executive director.
“We service approximately 60,000 residents in our 400 square-mile service area and process several hundred cubic yards of recyclables, trash, tires and electronics per month,” D’Abella said. ”The city contract will allow us to continue these services and expand our services to include at least one Household Hazardous Waste event per year.”
D’Abella said ECO, the only company that bid on the contract, will have at least one “free event” day annually during which people can recycle tires and bulk trash at no charge.
Typically, tires cost $2 to $8 to recycle and bulk trash $2 per bag or $10 per cubic yard.
For now, ECO’s facility is only open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, but D’Abella is hoping that the hours will change soon. The city agreed to a four-month contract with ECO with the ability to extend it.
“If the city extends ECO’s contract into a second year, then ECO is requesting additional funding to hire personnel for expanding hours of operation up to five days per week,” D’Abella said.
Another one of ECO’s plans for the future is to figure out a permanent drop-off spot for weekly collection of other toxic or hazardous materials, such as paint, motor oils, fluorescent light bulbs and batteries. More importantly, D’Abella said the city believes ECO will be a more permanent part of Maricopa in the future.
“For the past decade, ECO has been the only nonprofit corporation in the state of Arizona managing a city’s (recycling program). Most cities have internal departments manage these services,” D’Abella said. “The city of Maricopa supports the programs and services that ECO has been providing for almost 28 years and has concluded that they must create a permanent budget line item to continue these services for Maricopa’s long-term environmental quality.”
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