A subscription-based recycling company could bring recycling back to Graham County if the community shows enough interest.
Safford curbside recycling began in 2015, and Thatcher began recycling efforts in 2017. However, municipal efforts came to a grinding halt in 2019 after China stopped taking in recyclable materials.
Rosa Contreras, Graham County health program coordinator, said she has listened to the community express their interest in bringing recycling back. Roughly a year ago, she began communicating with the Utah-based Recyclops.
“I think a lot of people have wanted to bring recycling back. With it being gone, I hope this business can fill in that gap, and it’s an opt-in business, so the people who want it get it,” she said.
Recyclops is a community-driven program where people sign up to have their recycling materials picked up twice a week for a monthly fee.
The company already has meetings set up with local governments and a pre-sign up process could start within a week or two, said Nate Evans, a Recyclops representative.
Once 100 people sign up for the service, Recyclops usually begins its services two to three weeks afterward, he said.
To receive recycling services, community members would pay $14 a month for every other week pickups and bags, Evans said.
“After the market changed for recycling, it stopped being profitable for cities to offer it. We felt that since people still want to recycle because recycling is so great, that we would go ahead and come up with a better way to do it. That’s why we created Recyclops,” Evans said.
Contreras is optimistic about the possibility of Recyclops entering the community.
“I’m excited about reducing the amount of recyclable materials in the landfill,” she said. “I’m also excited about bringing back the mentality of conserving and taking care of our environment.”