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ADEQ Announces Recipients of $1 Million in Recycling Grant Awards to Advance Circular Economy in Arizona

PHOENIX (March 19, 2024) – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials announced today the selection of 12 local organizations as recipients of its Recycling Grant Awards, totaling $1 million. These grants signify a commitment to advancing statewide circular economy efforts and reducing materials sent to Arizona landfills.

“We are thrilled to have received 61 exceptional grant requests from businesses, non-profit organizations, universities, and municipalities throughout Arizona,” said ADEQ Cabinet Executive Officer Karen Peters. “This fantastic response underscores the significant demand for investments in recycling to support our communities’ recycling goals. We are deeply grateful for the enthusiasm and interest shown by all of the applicants and excited to see them leverage this funding.”

The 12 grant awardees for Fiscal Year 2024 are:

  • Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AzStRUT) – $77,900
  • Borderlands Produce Rescue – $139,661.65
  • Brophy College Preparatory – $27,371.50
  • City of Avondale – $64,000
  • City of Bisbee – $133,000
  • City of Mesa – $135,500
  • City of Sedona – $53,650.02
  • Green Options PBC dba Bold Reuse – $208,000
  • Let’s Go Compost – $45,000
  • Nackard Pepsi – $66,916.83
  • Northern Arizona University, Board of Regents – $43,000
  • Rim Country Senior Center – $6,000

These grants will empower organizations in both rural and metro communities to execute diverse initiatives, from expanding electronic recycling and implementing smart recycling receptacles to promoting composting in schools | Learn More >

“By investing in a glass crusher through grant funding, our community is not just embracing sustainability; we're revolutionizing our approach to waste management,” said City of Bisbee Public Works Director Matt Gurney. “This initiative will significantly enhance our recycling efforts, diverting a substantial amount of glass waste from the landfill. It further realizes our commitment to innovation and resource conservation, paving the way for a greener and more resilient future for generations to come.”

“We are immensely grateful for the grant funding that supports our initiative to establish a recycling drop-off center in Avondale,” said Avondale Public Works Assistant Director Harold Sigüenza. “This project aims to bridge the gap in recycling accessibility, especially for residents in multi-family housing communities. By providing a convenient and accessible location, we empower all residents to participate in our efforts to divert waste from landfills, fostering a more sustainable future for our community.”

“We see Arizona as a hub of innovation and hospitality, with an incredible opportunity to eliminate foodware waste altogether with the implementation of reusable packaging,” said Bold Reuse Chief Revenue Officer Heather Watkins. “As a 4th generation Phoenician from a line of entrepreneurs within the waste industry - I'm incredibly proud to have the support from ADEQ to reimagine how we manage waste for the next generation.”

State legislators have voiced their support for the awardees. Here's what they had to say:

“The City of Sedona from Legislative District 1 stands out as a rural community taking the lead in minimizing waste in our landfills by showcasing best practices through the innovative Smart Recycling Receptacles project,” said Arizona State Representative Selina Bliss (R) LD-1. “Congratulations on your achievement in this impressive award from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for promoting recycling, waste reduction, and sustainable resource management!”

“Having a convenient neighborhood-focused center in Avondale is a huge win for the Southwest Valley and will extend the life of our landfills,” said Arizona House Democratic Leader Lupe Contreras. “And with so many large-scale entertainment and sports venues in our region, it’s great to see a strategic approach to reducing and reusing the tens of thousands of beverage and food containers that are being used throughout the year.”

“I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the City of Mesa for always taking the initiative to provide our constituents with a sustainable environment. I’m looking forward to seeing the Downtown Mesa Recycling initiative implemented,” said Arizona State Representative Lorena Austin (D) LD-9. 

“As a school board member and a mother, it’s encouraging to see a program targeting single-use food and beverage container waste on our campuses and in our neighborhoods,” said Arizona State Representative Elda Luna-Nájera (D) LD-22. “This not only helps us reduce our footprint in our community landfills right now, it sends the right message to our kids about the value of recycling, which will have positive long-term impacts as well.”

“Congratulations to the City of Mesa for receiving the Recycling Grant Award for their innovative work on their recycling collection initiative,” said Arizona State Representative Seth Blattman (D) LD-9. “I am proud to represent a forward-looking city focused on a sustainable future for its residents.”

In 2023, ADEQ appointed nine individuals to the Arizona Recycling Advisory Committee (ARAC), re-establishing this Committee after a decade-long hiatus. These members play a pivotal role in assisting ADEQ Cabinet Executive Officer Karen Peters in managing recycling funds, allocating grant projects, and advocating for recycling initiatives statewide.

“The announcement of these grant recipients demonstrates the commitment of Arizonans to invest in our economy, protect the environment, and preserve natural resources,” said ARAC Chair Joe Guidice. “The 12 awardees have exciting projects throughout the State of Arizona from Flagstaff to Bisbee and from the population centers of the valley to small communities on the Mogollon Rim. This will create jobs in the recycling industry, improve education and access to services for residents, and recover valuable resources to be manufactured into new products.”

ADEQ’s Recycling Grant Program and funding were made possible by a Fiscal Year 2023 appropriation in the Environmental Budget Reconciliation Bill, which has provided an opportunity for small communities to create and enhance existing recycling efforts, as well as help larger communities’ ongoing efforts to minimize landfill waste. These grant awards and the re-establishment of ARAC represent a significant investment in Arizona's environmental sustainability efforts, empowering organizations and individuals to pioneer innovative solutions and create lasting impacts for their communities. Recycling Grant Program funding supports projects under three categories: Waste Reduction Assistance, Waste Reduction Initiative Through Education, and Recycling Research & Development. 

To learn more about ADEQ's Recycling Grant Program, grant awardees, and ARAC | Learn More >

To learn more about ADEQ’s Recycling Program that supports initiatives promoting recycling, waste reduction, and sustainable resource management | Learn More > 

Media Contacts:

  • ADEQ Public Information Officer | Ph: 602-540-8072 | Email > 
  • ARAC Chair – Joe Guidice | Ph: 480-644-6732 | Email > 
  • AzStRUT – Maryanna Milton | Ph: 708- 692- 4984 | Email > 
  • Bold Reuse – Heather Watkins-Smith | Ph: 623-640-7900 | Email > 
  • Borderlands Produce Rescue – Mo Abdollahi | Ph: 520-243-9777 | Email >
  • City of Avondale – Ingrid Melle | Ph: 623-333-1614 | Email >
  • City of Mesa – John Zielonka | Ph: 480-644-5294 | Email >
  • City of Sedona – Lauren Browne | Ph: 928-203-5127 | Email >
  • Let’s Go Compost – Lauren Click | Ph: 480-204-4632 | Email > 
  • Nackard Pepsi – Christina Smith | Email >

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