In the valley, we're faced with the problem of dwindling landfill space and increasing costs of operating new landfills. Federal government guidelines protecting groundwater, equipment needed to reduce the dangers associated with landfill methane gas, rising transportation costs and other necessary environmental guidelines have caused garbage collection and disposal fees to increase dramatically. More than half of what we throw away can be recycled. Recycling helps conserve landfill space, preserve natural resources and control rising waste disposal costs.

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE
Reducing waste, reusing materials and products, and recycling are some of the most effective and easiest ways we can protect the environment. Here are some important reasons we should reduce, reuse and recycle:

Saving natural resources: By reusing products that are often thrown away, such as clothing that no longer fits, and by using recycled materials to make new products, we reduce the need to use natural resources, which often involves harvesting trees and mining the earth. Even better, reducing waste, or creating much less garbage in the first place, saves the most resources of all.

Saving energy: Huge amounts of energy are needed to make products and materials. Energy is saved by reducing the amount of products and materials we manufacture, buy and use. Substantial energy savings also come from using recycled instead of natural resources in manufacturing. Fuel and transportation costs are also reduced when recycling. Transporting recyclable materials to local recyclers rather than trucking them to landfills in outlying areas can save a substantial amount of fuel.

Landfills: We will need landfills as long as we dispose of waste. Landfills are expensive to create, operate, and monitor. To prevent potential pollution problems, landfills are lined and monitored for ground water contamination and methane gas escape. By reducing, reusing, and recycling we divert materials from ever reaching the landfill.

Preventing pollution: Almost all manufacturing processes use water and release wastewater and air emissions into the environment. Reducing and reusing products cuts down on manufacturing pollution, and the use of recycled materials instead of natural resources prevents pollution as well.

Creating jobs: Recycling is an important part of Arizona's economy. Many small businesses have been created in our state to recycle discarded materials and products.

Saving money: Households can save money by reusing materials and products and by practicing smart shopping habits that reduce waste.