In celebration of Earth Day this month, a Tempe recycling center is extending its regular operating hours to residents to safely recycle hazardous waste.
The Household Products Collection Center allows Tempe and Guadalupe residents to dispose of household hazardous waste. Center administrator David Tavares said the materials are then recycled and given back to “those who might not be able to afford it.”
The center, at 1320 E. University Drive, is operated by the city’s Water Utilities Department.
Tavares said residents can drop off things that they would find in their garage, utility room or shed. These items include paint, oil, antifreeze and propane. “Forty percent of the material we get is latex paint,” he said.
But not all materials are accepted. Tavares said the main things the city cannot accept are ammunition, biohazards and radioactive materials.
Focused collection events will be 7 a.m. to noon on Monday through April 25. Earth Day is April 22.
“We will hold tours everyday and show our swap area,” Tavares said.
New or partially used items and materials are recycled at the swap area and put back onto the shelves, where other residents can come take them. Tavares said the center mixes the paint and produces white, gray and tan paint so other residents can come use it for free.
“Less than one percent of the materials that HPCC receives goes to the landfill,” Tavares said.
Only Tempe and Guadalupe residents can drop off materials to be recycled, but residents from all areas can come and take the secondhand items.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said 19-year-old Tempe resident, Megan Freedell. “If the City of Tempe can take the first step, it sets a good example.”
In 1999, the center was recognized for distinguished community leadership by Arizona Clean and Beautiful, Tavares said. The center was established on Earth Day in 1999, when Tavares said there was a drastic need for a regional hazardous waste facility in Maricopa County.
The center is directly in front of the APS Fire Training Center. For more information, call (480) 350-2819 or visit www.tempe.gov/HHW.