Republic Services Opens State-of-the-Art Recycling Center, Will Use AI To Help Sort Materials

Republic Services, Inc., a leader in the environmental services industry, and local community leaders celebrated the opening of Republic’s state-of-the-art Salt River Recycling Center. The new facility will play a vital role in helping improve recycling rates in the Valley with higher capacity and more modern technology than its predecessor.

The 51,000-square-foot recycling center, located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, will manage recyclables from approximately 1.4 million residents and more than 2,000 businesses throughout the Valley. The high-capacity facility will process up to 40 tons, or eight truckloads, of recyclables per hour, including paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs, metal food and beverage cans, and glass bottles and jars.

“The new Salt River Recycling Center reinforces Republic Services’ commitment to circularity, sustainability and the community,” said Area President Javara Perrilliat. “This facility will help meet growing demand for recycling throughout the Valley and help our customers achieve their sustainability goals.”

The facility leverages cutting-edge recycling technology, including five optical sorters that use digital recognition to identify and separate paper or plastic in milliseconds and artificial intelligence to help reduce contamination. AI system data also enables operators to make real-time adjustments to maximize the volume of materials recycled.

Plastics from the Salt River Recycling Center will be transported to Republic’s new Polymer Center in Las Vegas, the first facility of its kind in North America. The Polymer Center’s innovative processes will grind, sort and wash the plastics so they can become new bottles, jugs and containers, enabling true bottle-to-bottle circularity.

As one of the nation’s largest recyclers, Republic Services processes 5 million tons of recyclable materials annually through 75 facilities across the country.