Arizona City Will Try Out 3D Printers That Recycle in Pilot Program

Iranpolymer/Baspar The City of Surprise, Arizona, will host a pilot program that will collect used plastic waste items and use them to print on-demand plastic commodity products using equipment from Automedi, a UK-based fabricator of 3D printing machines.

The program will implement a unique, distributed model of recycling. Three 3D printers will be rotated among various community gathering places, such as libraries, schools and sports venues. Community members will be able to print plastic products from a catalog at no cost to them using plastic recyclables collected in the city. Materials that can be processed with the printers include HDPE, PP, LDPE, PET and PLA.

“The City of Surprise is honored to be chosen as the pilot site for Automedi’s innovative plastic waste reduction solution, as our region is in need of forward-thinking recycling solutions,” says Kristin Tytler, City of Surprise Public Works director. “Like many cities and municipalities across the country, Surprise paused curbside recycling due to soaring costs and a decreased market for recyclables that left a high percentage in the landfill. After searching for more sustainable recycling solutions, the city is in the process of resuming curbside collection. Automedi’s pilot solution will be a great supplement to that and a unique way to showcase how plastic waste can be made into useful products.”

The initiative was chosen as the winner of the AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, hosted by Leading Cities in partnership with QBE North America. The City Solution of the Year Award included a cash prize of $100,000 to fund the pilot program in Surprise.

“This collaboration with the City of Surprise presents an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our solution,” says Ethar Alali, managing director at Automedi.


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