The City of Phoenix is interested in bringing a plastic processing facility to the Phoenix metro area. A facility could potentially to increase the diversion rates of recyclables, allow for more efficient use of locally reclaimed material and bring new jobs to the Phoenix metropolitan economy. Contrary to the classic “put it in the bin, we’ll take care of it” attitude presented by large recyclers such as Waste Management and Republic Services, recycling economics are complex; often both a beacon of technological advancement and a lagger with regard to spot-market capabilities. Based on interviews with elite stakeholders and industry research, this mixed method paper will examine the current PET plastic recycling market and the potential for Phoenix to increase its circular manufacturing of plastic. The final analysis will culminate in a proposed set of recommendations that could help Phoenix achieve its long-term waste diversion goals.
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