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Most Nogales Recyclables End Up In Landfills

Residents in Nogales, Arizona, are the latest to find out that there’s little use in separating their recyclables from their trash, as most of the city’s recyclable materials now head to a landfill.

Nogales has a contract with Tucson Recycling and Waste, which processes and transports the city’s recycling. But higher costs and demands from the company’s partners have led to most recyclables being sent to a landfill.

Kurt Wahl is the general manager of Tucson Recycling and Waste. He said China, which is the destination for a large amount of recyclables, has put new restrictions on imported materials, because of contamination:

“So a lot of the stuff that’s getting sent to the ports is being refused," Wahl said, "because China won’t take it. When that started happening, then it was just a domino effect back and places back here stopped taking it.”

Wahl said the company continues to sort and sell metal recyclables but still loses money because of the higher cost to process and transport the metal goods.

After spending seven months as a news intern for KJZZ, Matt Kling returned in January 2019 as a general assignment reporter, mainly on the weekends.Kling’s radio career started when he joined Blaze Radio as freshman at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School. At Blaze Radio he has served as a host, producer and assistant production director. He’s also interned for KTAR before joining KJZZ in 2018.Kling also has extensive work in television production, working as a director, technical director and other positions for Cronkite News and Arizona PBS. Today, Kling serves as a newscast producer for Cronkite News. He anticipates graduation from the Cronkite School in May 2019.When he’s not working, you can find Kling out and about on the town, or in his downtown Phoenix apartment watching his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.