Save Money and Recycle Tempe

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Throw away less. Recycle more. Save money.

Get your SMART bin now!

There are over 2,600 Tempeans saving money with the SMART program. To order your 48- or 65- gallon SMART trash can, please call 480-350-5860.

Tempe's new Solid Waste program SMART, Save Money and Recycle Tempe, is a voluntary program for residents with curbside trash can service who want to save money by recycling more and help the environment by choosing a smaller trash can.

Many Tempe residents with curbside trash collection are excited about SMART and here’s why:

  • Potentially reduces material that is landfilled
  • Saves residents money on their monthly bills
  • Reduces the amount of trash thrown away
  • Helps to reach Tempe City Council residential diversion and recycling goals


Is SMART right for me?  

Here's a video that shows the bins and how many kitchen bags will fit into them.


2019 Rates and sizes of bins

Trash/landfill bins







2019 Monthly charge




2019 Yearly total




2019 Yearly cost savings with SMART bins




 SMART bins 96, 65 and 48 gallons 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is Tempe the first city to implement this kind of program?

 Similar programs exist in cities and towns across the country, including in Maricopa County. They are commonly referred to as a “Pay as you throw” program. 

  • I want to know how much money this program is costing the city.

 On average, each bin costs $50 and we’re expecting the money we save via a reduction in landfill fees to cover the costs.  When residents reduce their trash, it reduces costs for the city. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources are used.

  • Does throwing away less trash really make a difference?

Putting less waste in trash bins can make a big environmental difference. When people generate less waste and recycle more, fewer natural resources are used and there is less pollution from manufacturing. Valuable landfill space is conserved as well, reducing the need to site new facilities.

  • How will I know what size bin I should downsize to?

 Tempe staff have conducted tests to determine how many kitchen-sized trash bags will fit into both the 48- and 65-gallon bins. For the 48-gallon, small SMART bin, we estimate 2-3 white, kitchen size trash bags. For the 65-gallon, medium SMART bin, we estimate 4-5 white, kitchen size trash bags. The amount of trash bags per bins will vary, based on the fullness of the bags. All trash bin lids must shut all the way, when closed. Please remember to bag and tie your trash bags.

  • What happens if I have a special circumstance where I have an unusual amount of trash? Like when I have a party, holidays, out-of-town guests, etc.? 

The easiest thing to do is to ask a neighbor if you can use their trash bin. They may have extra room. You can call Tempe 311 480-350-4311 to schedule a pickup outside of your regular schedule for a fee. Or you can also take your extra trash to the public dump. Please click here for more info.

  • How can I learn more about how to recycle? 

 For information about how to properly recycle, please click here.

  • How will you ensure that residents aren’t asking for a smaller trash container and simply throwing trash in the recycling bin?

 The city will increase random inspections of recycling bins throughout the city to ensure compliance. If found to be out of compliance, residents will be educated on the proper recycling process. Upon the third violation, the resident will be removed from the program.

  • Why can’t alleyway residents participate?

Alleyway residents will have the option to participate once the process for relocating trash service (weekly and bulk trash) is approved. While we are diligently working on the process, participation in moving trash services from alleyway to curbside will require a certain percentage of affected alleyway residents agreeing to the proposed service changes and signing consent forms. In the meantime, we are only able to service curbside residents due to access issues and limited space in the alleyways.

  • When will the option to move curbside occur for alleyway residents?

 This option will be available sometime in 2019.

  • As an alleyway resident, how can I reduce my bill? 

 There is currently no option, however we are working on a plan to give residents the option to move bins from alleyway to curbside in 2019, therefore allowing participation in the SMART program. Opting into this voluntary program will then allow residents to choose 48- or 65-gallon bins, and pay less on their monthly bills.