Focus on Sustainability: Mesa Recycling Program

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Club Blue, “Mesa’s Young Recycling Squad,” is helping Mesa kids beat the summer heat by offering interactive recycling workshops. We’ll take a look at the recycling program.

Christina Estes: Members are on a mission to protect Mother Earth.

Anthony Camacho: If we don't recycle, the whole world will just get like brown and gray. Like an old movie.

Christina Estes: First they see what happens when people don't recycle.

Mariano Reyes: This was actually buried in 1965. So way before you guys were born. We actually uncovered it in 2008. If you look up close you can read some of the newspapers.

Christina Estes: This is what nearly 1,000 Styrofoam cups and lunch trays look like after being melted for seven hours.

Mariano Reyes: It was actually Taco Tuesday on the day we did this.

Christina Estes: Mariano Reyes explains what happens when people don't just toss things into trashcans.

Mariano Reyes: Within 45 to 100 days we could have a brand-new can if we recycle a can today. Did you guys know the government actually recycles money that's no longer being used? This is an example. What they do is shred it up and make it into other things like insulation. They put this in insulation that might be in your home.

Jennifer Cleavenger: What about for the items in our blue barrel?

Christina Estes: It's believed these are a big reason Mesa has a 32% diversion rate. That's everything that has been diverted from the landfill and gone to be recycled.

Jennifer Clevenger: The kids knew what went into the blue barrel and the parents went, really?

Mariano Reyes: Who can tell me what this is?

Christina Estes: Parents and kids are pretty impressed by this 40,000 pound machine.

Mariano Reyes: It's a garbage truck, and this is one of our operators.

Christina Estes: They discover a typical route involves picking up about 1,200 barrels.

Driver: Grab the steering wheel. Now pull yourself on up.

Student: It's cool and it's high. I'm not used to being in high trucks, but it's cool to feel it, too.

Christina Estes: They are showing off picture frames they decorated and showing lessons learned.

Anthony Camacho: If you didn't recycle through time itself, all time, future, past, every time. Nothing would be -- it would smell really, really bad. Recycle more and throw away less.

Richard Ruelas: Club Blue launched last fall and already has more than members.

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