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Tucson approves new plastic recycling program in zero-waste effort

A pilot program to turn non-recyclable plastic waste into colorful building blocks is spreading across the city of Tucson.

Mayor Regina Romero and the city council on May 9 approved a four-year service deal with BiFusion, a Los Angeles-based company that converts plastic waste into building materials. With this partnership, the city of Tucson will advance its goal of “moving beyond the traditional landfill model and into an era of renewable waste-to-asset activities,” the agreement states.

ByFusion began partnering with Tucson’s 6th Ward about 10 months ago to collect and process non-recyclable plastic. Waste is collected in bright orange 22-cubic-yard containers behind the building, picked up by City Environmental Services trucks, and emptied at the Tank Speedway Recycling Landfill. There, Tank’s packs the waste into he 12-ton loads and transports it to California, where ByFusion can convert the waste into blocks.

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