Take a Field Trip to the City of Phoenix Trash Facility. We visited the City of Phoenix North Gateway Transfer Station for a tour and we got lucky because they were so busy we got to see so much trash! On the day of our visit, they happened to be packed almost to the rim with trucks dropping off two at a time.
Below is the giant warehouse where garbage trucks drop off their loads. Can you see that pile in the middle? There are actually 2 trucks dropping off simultaneously. Talk about good drivers! Trucks come in up to 120 times a day in and out dumping what they collect. Each truck can easily drive over 130 miles round-trip for each dump. All of this is eventually compacted down to bundles and put into semis. Each semi holds 80,000 pounds / 40 tons and travels to the landfill.
There is a forklift that is taking the trash from these piles and putting it into this green machine to start its trip up the conveyor belt. We stayed here for the longest time watching all the trucks come in and drop off as well as examine all of the items people were recycling.
Did you that your plastic cat litter or dog food bags are not actually recyclable? You can use their Recycle Wizard here to determine the best way to deal with items you are curious about.
Hard to imagine that each of those garbage trucks had this inside of them. It looks so nice and easy by the time it’s bundled!
Take a Field Trip to the City of Phoenix Trash Facility
We waved hi to the workers and they all took time to wave back!
During the tour, you are standing over semis that will haul the trash to the landfill in the viewing deck. You can walk the distance and see the process from start to finish.
The 2600 acres for the landfill in Buckeye was originally expected to last 100 years. But it’s doing so well it is looking more like 200 years to fill this landfill.
Check out this trash from 50 years ago! Can you see the date in 1971? These and more items are on display in the newly updated viewing deck.
In order to reach the city’s zero waste goal by 2050, the Zero Waste team provides education and community outreach to teach the community about waste diversion. These methods include group tours of the city’s North Gateway Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), educational presentations to schools, neighborhood and community meetings, and hosting informational booths at community events.
Watch a virtual tour here.
Tours are currently limited to 10 people max. Masks are required for all participants ages 2 and up. Restrooms are closed to protect employees. Questions can be submitted ahead of time or asked during the tour. Schedule your in-person tour here. Please note that tours may be temporarily paused.
North Gateway Transfer Station
30205 North Black Canyon Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85085