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September 21, 2019

Students going through guided tour of the City of Glendale’s Materials Recovery FacilityThe Project Cities-Glendale partnership is now entering its the second year, collaborating with Arizona State University students and faculty on contemporary sustainability challenges in the community. Over the last year, we have completed five projects, working with eight ASU classes, eight faculty and 108 students. The past projects covered an array of topics, including sustainable facilities, above-ground storage tank safety and compliance, fleet electrification, community engagement and social media policy.

This semester began with a guided tour of the City of Glendale’s Materials Recovery Facility. Students from Al Brown’s ERM 432/532: Sustainable Solid Waste Management class took this opportunity to interview management staff and get a first-hand look at the scale of Glendale’s recycling program. This experience will provide students a frame of reference for the Recycling Enhancements Study to determine ways the city can improve its program’s diversion rate and market viability.

The project will review the current recycling efforts, compile best practices, and generate recommendations to enhance or improve the program. These recommendations will include developing methods to increase recycling participation, increase landfill diversion rates, and improve the quality of the recovered materials.

The City of Glendale is also seeking recommendations to enhance its outreach and education strategies, including social media, with particular attention given to the changes in the international recycling market. These include the impact of recycling bans, restrictions, and requirements implemented by them, along with methods by which the city can increase its commodity sales of the collected materials. All recommendations will include the cost impacts of any proposed changes, as well as the impact of not making any. These will go beyond dollar value to also include any social impacts of the recycling program.

Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.