- Arizona Public Service (APS) Co. has begun collecting tons of scrap metal and other materials from its power plants and other sites statewide, including old tools, unusual appliances, and fixtures for artists who create unique items from these pieces. Much of the material is recycled, but APS is finding that it can also be "upcycled" and brought to life again as art — all instead of sitting in a scrap yard.
- APS markets household items like old chandeliers to be renewed as artistic décor for homes and offices. And now the company is salvaging historical architectural materials deemed worth preserving from their facilities and other company locations. The utility is also working with Treasures for Teachers and Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona as donation hubs.
- APS wants to track the volume of materials workers divert from landfill by weight and has asked Waste Management for bins to enable them to do so, according to The Arizona Republic.
Not many people would think that discarded cable, plastic, and empty aerosol cans would be valuable, even to a creative mind or company looking for unique interior office designs. But APS says some of the more unique fixtures they are saving are quite marketable.
Through this upcycling project they are putting materials into the hands of those who have a creative vision for it, it as well as donating some of what they don't sell to nonprofits. In 2015, APS saw over 5,000 tons of materials repurposed, from scrap metal to small poles, transformers, and computers.
"The word is out with our crews and they are starting to send us stuff," Ryan Hensley, asset disposition analyst for APS, told The Arizona Republic. "We want to avoid throwing as much in the landfill as possible."
Even some large airlines are upcycling now, salvaging tens of thousands of tons of waste each that become consumer goods that customers will pay for.