You might have seen them around the city, they’re the big blue bins on rollers with colorful pictures of all sorts of recyclables that people can put in them.  They’re called eco-stations, and city officials say they’ve proven to be effective so far.

The Phoenix Public Works Department is responsible for placing Eco-stations in each district, allowing residents and businesses to recycle at their own leisure. These large roll-off bin stations were created in 2017, and are placed in parks owned by the city.

“One of the main reasons for establishing Eco-stations was the Public Works Department’s Reimagine Phoenix initiative, which set a public goal of diverting 40% of the City’s waste from its landfill by 2020; increased recycling access plays a huge role in increasing the City’s diversion rate,” said Lucas Mariacher, Operations Manager for the Customer Engagement Services department at Phoenix Public Works.

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According to the Phoenix Public Works Department, Eco-stations have expanded tremendously in the City of Phoenix since installment. Originally, there were only a few stations located in densely populated areas, but after rising demand, they were placed in all Phoenix Council Districts.

There is one Eco-station per District with the exception of Steele Park, which due to higher demand, has two bins. There are a total of nine Eco-stations installed.

The City of Phoenix has seen an increase in recycling since the program started, and Eco-stations have assisted the Reimagine Phoenix initiative in reaching their goal. The city now has a waste diversion rate of 36%.

“In the calendar year 2017, we collected 314,000 pounds. In the calendar year 2020, we collected 1,552,000 pounds. There was a 33% increase in recycling the first year Eco-stations were installed, 38% increase the second year, and a 40% increase the third year,” said Mariacher.

Materials that are most acceptable to recycle in Eco-stations include; cardboard materials, papers, food boxes, mail and junk mail, beverage cans, food cans, glass beverage bottles, food jars in glass and plastic, plastic jugs and beverage cartons, and plastic bottles with caps on.

Eco-stations can be found at the following Phoenix parks; Deer Valley Park, Paradise Valley Park, Sweetwater Park, Steele Park, Pecos Park, Saguaro Library, Maryvale Park, Hayden Park and Desert West Park.

From an article on the City of Phoenix website: “Phoenix residents regularly ask for more opportunities to recycle,” Mayor Kate Gallego said.  “For residents in condos and apartment complexes, Eco-stations are a free and convenient way to do your part to keep recyclables out of landfills.”

In addition to Eco-stations, the Phoenix Public Works has created other programs to increase recycling and waste diversion among residents which include the Recyclebank rewards program, Save As You Reduce & Recycle and the Green Organics Curbside Collection.