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MARICOPA — The city of Maricopa is moving to take control of the Waste and Recycling Center in order to lower costs to taxpayers and make changes designed to benefit the city and its residents.

The center is owned by Pinal County, which leases it to the city. Previously, Right Away Disposal was managing the center. However, City Manager Rick Horst felt that more services could be provided if the city gained control.

“We have been paying RAD a flat rate, and that flat rate is far excessive to what the benefit being realized is,” Horst said. “They’re open on Saturdays for about four hours. So our goal is to take over and do the same thing they’re doing right now, but ultimately, to do more.”

Horst gave an example of landscapers who currently have few choices for disposal of their clippings. The Waste and Recycling Center may have the capability to grind up that debris and then sell it as mulch to create profit for the city. This is just one idea of many that the city is discussing for the center.

Horst made it clear that the takeover should not affect residents. However, the city is currently accepting bids for a city-wide contract for trash pickup. If the city finds a suitable partnership, residents in non-HOA neighborhoods may soon be free of the stress of dealing with waste and recycling companies individually for curbside pickup, and each HOA will no longer have a different contract.

“The initial findings suggest that every single community will spend less money than they are now,” Horst said. “Some will save more money, some will save less money, but all of them will save some money. Plus, they no longer have to deal with the headaches of negotiations.”

While this is still in the works, the city has moved forward in taking over for RAD at the Waste and Recycling Center. RAD has officially declined to put in a bid for a city-wide trash pickup program.

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Katie Sawyer covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at ksawyer@pinalcentral.com.

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