Since 2015, nonprofit Keep Scottsdale Beautiful has hosted its Purge-A-Palooza event.
The biannual recycling event invited residents to drop off their recyclable items instead of dumping in the trash.
This year, the pandemic prompted KSB to postpone the event until further notice and instead publish their first resource guide and encourage residents to clean out their homes in a responsible way.
“We essentially created this resource guide as a way for us to still engage with the community and to provide them practical education materials to really take action to do things a little bit more self-sufficient with recycling,” explained KSB board Chairman Brad Newton.
Available KSB’s website, the 14-page guide informs readers on how to reduce, reuse or recycle items and how to dispose of things that can’t be recycled.
It discusses how to: dispose of personal protective equipment and hazardous waste, conserve energy and compost. It also offers tips on water-efficient irrigation, and a list of recycling drop-off areas and green moving companies.
The guide also explains how to recycle batteries and bulbs, electronics, plastic bags, vehicle fluid, and tires.
Newton explained that the guide “will provide you with a number of tips, tools and links that are designed to protect our environment and to help beautify public spaces” and called its initiatives “a communal responsibility that we will take seriously.”
KSB is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and an evolution of the Scottsdale Pride Commission, which the city decommissioned to give the group more flexibility.
Its mission is to get the community to “promote a clean, green, and sustainable Scottsdale.”
Its principles include protecting the environment, educating the community, beautifying public spaces, and promoting and encouraging the three Rs: reducing, reusing and recycling.
Purge-A-Palooza was steadily gaining traction and popularity among residents.
“People would hold onto things because they knew we would have an event,” Newton said. “They would look forward to being able to purge their closets and their garage to get rid of these hard-to-recycle items. We were becoming a reliable option for people to responsibly get rid of things that are hard to get rid of.”
Newton said that a few hundred cars came to the event, adding, “We always have enough people to come through to make it worthwhile.”
So far, Purge-A-Palooza recycled about 8,500 pounds of on-site paper shredding, nearly 4,000 pounds of electronic waste, 750 pounds of textiles and shoes, 300 pounds of toner cartridges, 800 hangers, about 300 pounds of eyeglasses and more than 2,000 pounds of crafts and supplies for Treasures 4 Teachers.
“We will not be hosting it this spring, for sure. As a board, we will reevaluate where we are as a community and where things stand with the pandemic and we’ll certainly keep our options open for this fall,” Newton said.
KSB will continue the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, adopted the Scottsdale City Council and joining nearly 600 other cities nationwide in committing to the preservation of monarch butterflies.
The National Wildlife Federation encourages communities to plant milkweed at parks, gardens and on roadsides, along with other native flowering plants that can provide nectar for adult butterflies.
“We will be working with the new mayor hopefully on this. And we will certainly engage the community on it,” Newton said.
KSB will also continue to collaborate with Scottsdale Public Art on the beatification project at Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Greenway-Hayden Loop.
To enhance the intersection, the project pairs public artists Patrick Renner & Kelly O’Brien of Flying Carpet Creative Studio out of Houston with a local team of university students, including Jessica Arnold of NAU Interior Design and Rigoberto Berber-Arias and Alan Estrada Sanchez of ASU School of Architecture.
“Fundraising has been a challenge for this because of the pandemic and that’s something that we are going to concentrate on in 2021,” Newton said. “Every dollar will matter for this and I think it’s a great way for the citizens of Scottsdale to get involved.”