- Phoenix has created a $13 million Reimagine Phoenix initiative in partnership with Arizona State University to develop economic activity from waste, with the intention of diverting 40% of it from landfills by 2020.
- The initiative is based at an 80-acre research innovation campus adjacent to the city’s landfill, transfer station, and recycling facilities.
- Reimagine Phoenix’s March request for market-ready ideas drew 118 responses. Three proposals were picked to go under contract in the fall: Planet Recycling will transform 540 tons of carpeting and carpet foam annually into new carpeting, foam, and insulation; Goodwill of Central Arizona will collect 1,400 tons annually of mattresses to break down and sell the wood, steel, foam and fabric components to be reused; and residential food waste will be composted before it reaches transfer stations.
Through Reimagine Phoenix, the city is putting its money where its mouth is. Once approved, market-ready businesses will be offered land on the campus at low lease rates, emerging technologies will be offered lab and office space in the incubator building, and the city will provide the roads and infrastructure for the campus.
Director of Phoenix Public Works John Trujillo said, "Our goal is to create this circular economy so instead of sending our garbage to the landfill and our recycling to China, we want to create our own economy right here. Why not ship it next door to the campus and create a product?"