Zero Waste Days

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Zero Waste Day helps you recycle those items that can't go into the blue recycling bin

The next Zero Waste Day is from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 18 at the Tempe Fire Training Facility, 1340 E. University Drive (directly north of the Household Products Collection Center).

 Recycling EventsThe Household Products Collection Center will be closed on April 18 in lieu of this event.

Proof of Tempe or Guadalupe residency must be shown through a driver's license or utility bill. 

What We Take and Where It Goes

Tempe is committed to managing waste responsibly and works closely with its partners to ensure the material is diverted from the landfill and recycled or reused. Here is an overview of what we take on Zero Waste Day and where it all goes. 

Food donations

Non-perishable, unopened items including peanut butter, canned meats and soups, dried and canned beans, 100 percent fruit juices, boxed meals, canned vegetables and fruit, granola bars, whole wheat pasta, multi-grain cereals, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese 

The Tempe Community Action Agency, a local nonprofit that works to alleviate homelessness, hunger and poverty and houses Tempe’s largest food pantry, will be onsite collecting the food items.  

Plastic bags and wrap

Grocery bags, newspaper bags, Ziploc®-type bags, cereal box liners, air pillows, bubble wrap and wrap from bathroom tissue, paper towels, cases of beverages and other products. Bags must be completely empty and dry. 

Recycled by Trex in Nevada and turned into decking, bird houses, benches and other products. 

Paper for shredding

Office paper, mail, other personal paper documents, magazines, books in poor condition 

Documents are securely shredded and recycled by ASDD Document Destruction, a branch of the Tempe nonprofit, the Centers for Habilitation, which provides support and opportunities for people with physical and developmental disabilities. 


We will take Styrofoam (packaging blocks, materials and peanuts only (no water soluble). Unable to take egg cartons, cups, plates or trays.

Building materials

Must be in good condition with no major repairs required. Kitchen and bath cabinets, doors, windows, shutters, toilets, sinks, vanities, garbage disposals, counter tops, bricks, block, lumber (no nails/screws), grills, fountains, pool equipment, light fixtures, hardware items (hinges, lock sets, miscellaneous) and unpainted, undamaged drywall in at least 2-feet x 2-feet strips.

Recycled and reused by Stardust Building Supplies, a nonprofit organization that operates three Valley thrift stores which sell salvaged and gently-used building materials.


Automobile tires are accepted. No bicycle or truck tires. 

Tires are taken to the Southeast Waste Tire Collection Site run by the Maricopa County Waste Resources & Recycling Department and recycled into many items including crumb rubber, which is used in asphalt.  

Clothing, furniture and household items

Items should be in good condition. Clothing, shoes, purses, belts, bedding, towels, toys, stuffed animals, books, cooking accessories, furniture, home décor, housewares, jewelry, tools, musical instruments, sports equipment. 

Sold for reuse and recycled by Goodwill of Central Arizona which diverted over 100 million pounds of material from the landfill through reuse and recycling in 2015.  

Household hazardous waste

Pool chemicals, toilet bowl cleaner, drain cleaner, ammonia cleaner, spot cleaner, oven cleaner, copper cleaner, lye, insecticides, herbicides, latex paint, oil based paints and stains, acetone (nail polish remover), paint thinners, glue, automotive oil, antifreeze, battery acid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, gasoline, lighter fluid, lubricants (WD-40), aerosol cans, soaps, waxes, perfume, adhesives,CFL bulbs, batteries, over-the-counter medication 

Between 86 and 93 percent of the hazardous materials collected are reused or recycled locally, regionally or nationally. Some products are redistributed to Tempe residents for free at the Household Products Collection Center.  

Electronics, computer equipment and appliances

Working or non-working items accepted. PCs, laptops, monitors, power cords, printers, cabling, mice, keyboards, hard drives, tablets, cell phones,CDs, DVDs, printer cartridges, calculators, stereos, VCRs, TVs, power strips, microwaves, washers/dryers, refrigerators, freezers. Lawn mowers and other gas-powered items are okay as long as gas is removed. 

All items are recycled by Veolia, a North American electronics recycling company with a facility in Phoenix.

Scrap metal

Copper wire and tubing, steel, aluminum, cast aluminum, brass, brass shells, wire scrap 

SA Recycling in Phoenix currently recycles all scrap metal for the City of Tempe. 

Bikes, repair stands and bike parts 

Second-hand bikes, new or used repair stands and new or used bike parts including: cables, pedals, brakes, seats, tires, handle bars, etc. 

All items will be donated to the Recycle-a-Bicycle program, a partnership between the City of Tempe PD, Fire Medical Rescue, Public Works and the City Manager’s Office and Tempe Elementary School District #3’s Gililland Middle School. The program teaches students bike repair, maintenance, safety and biking as a sustainable transportation mode and also fosters health, development, stewardship and empowerment within its students.