Thatcher is joinging with Safford in canceling its recycling program due to escalating costs.

THATCHER — The recycling program may be suspended, but Thatcher town officials remain hopeful for the program’s reanimation.

“The town has suspended our recycling program due to the City of Safford suspending theirs. Up to this point, the town has been piggybacking on Safford’s program and does not currently have the ability to operate the program on our own,” said Thatcher City Manager Heath Brown.

“In the future, when the market for recyclable materials is better, there is a good chance the program could be reinstated.”

Brown told the Courier that Thatcher residents will still be able to take their aluminum, copper, vehicle batteries and cardboard to Vista Recycling. According to Brown, Metal Mite Recycling will also accept aluminum, copper, vehicle batteries and cardboard products, as well as appliances and automobiles.

Brown also told the Courier that the Town Council has discussed creating a new recycling program but has not decided to move in that direction.

“The amount the town pays (Safford) varies for recyclable materials, depending on the amount Safford is paid for the material. Since the market has drastically declined, we have been paying $44 to $45 per ton,” Brown said.

Restrictions made by China fueled the drop in the recyclable market, thus making it difficult for many American towns to keep their recycling programs functioning. China has enacted tariffs on recycled materials imports in retaliation for American tariffs on Chinese exports.

Due to the drop of the market, the City of Safford agreed to disband its recycling program on May 6.

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