Sign to support financing the recycling fund
We will be sending the following letter to the Arizona legislature. To be added as a signatory for this letter, please fill out the form below. You may sign as an individual or as an organization.

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To the Arizona House of Representatives and State Senate,

We are writing to ask you to fully finance the recycling fund--established by A.R.S. 49-837--which provides grants for municipalities, non-governmental organizations, universities, and businesses investing in the recycling sector. From 1991-2009, more than $17 million were awarded through this program. These grants, administered in every county across the state, have supported research and development projects, the purchase of capital assets, education campaigns, and increased access to recycling services. The fund is supported by the landfill disposal fee established in A.R.S 49-836, which requires that municipalities, businesses and other waste managers pay a 25-cent tax on every ton of waste they dispose of in a landfill. Half of the revenue from this fee is meant to finance the recycling fund, while the other half supports landfill monitoring.

However, for the last decade, the landfill tax has been collected but the Arizona government has diverted the revenue away from the recycling fund and swept it into the state’s general fund. Based on previous landfill tax revenue, we estimate the state’s recycling sector has lost over $10 million as a result, preventing municipalities from investing in research, equipment, and education campaigns that would increase the cost-effectiveness of their programs. This lack of state support, coupled with volatility in domestic and international recycling markets, has forced municipalities across the state to increase prices or reduce the services they provide.

With the implementation of China’s national sword policy in 2018, which banned the import of 24 types of waste, this recycling fund is now more important than ever. Until this point, China had been the primary importer of recyclable material from the U.S. This change in international markets left Arizona municipalities scrambling to find new buyers for their commodities; therefore, decreasing programs’ profitability and forcing municipalities to reduce services or halt recycling programs altogether.

Investment in Arizona’s recycling sector would allow programs to innovate, adapt to changing markets, and increase the cost-effectiveness of their programs in the long run. Robust recycling systems also spur economic growth and provide a significant number of jobs. The total economic impact of recycling in Arizona exceeds $823.62 million, with local jobs pushing 5,000. Recycling coordinators believe that investing in our recycling infrastructure will further attract local companies, bringing additional jobs and revenue to the state’s economy.

Therefore, we ask that the Arizona State Legislature adheres to A.R.S. 49-836 and 49-837 and fully funds the recycling grant using revenue from the landfill disposal fee to the recycling grant fund.
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