- The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to award a palm frond disposal contract to California-based Palm Silage, Inc.
- Palm Silage will lease space at Arizona State University's (ASU) Resource Innovation Campus. The company will dry and grind the fronds, then mix them with natural ingredients such as dates to create palm hay or pelletized feed for livestock.
- Phoenix will pay Palm Silage $12 per ton of fronds processed — $5 per ton less than landfilling.
Phoenix has struggled with its 34,000 tons of palm fronds each year and this new deal provides a good opportunity to help raise the city's diversion rate by about 3%. The city has set a goal of reaching 40% diversion by 2020.
Partnerships like this one are helpful to keep challenging materials out of landfills and stimulate economic growth at the same time. Palm Silage's 10-year lease has the option for two more 10-year renewals and the company is expected to generate $10 million in taxable sales per year, plus 12 jobs. They'll also be selling the feedstock locally, which helps move the city toward a more circular economy.
This is the latest in a series of innovative waste ideas that the city has adopted as part of its $13 million Reimagine Phoenix initiative in partnership with ASU. Last year, the city also approved contract proposals for carpet, mattress, and food waste recycling projects.