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Councilmember Chris Judd Newsletter • August 2019

As we jump into August, we are not just jumping into a new month but a new school year. We are doing all the last minute school supply shopping and easily forgetting about all of the old school supplies we have at home. August is not only known for preparing for back to school, but known for being National Crayon Collection Month. Annually, over 150 million crayons are given to young diners which eventually end up in a local landfill and are unable to decompose. This is enough crayons to circle the earth three times annually! This month long campaign encourages the collection of gently used crayons from our homes and local restaurants before they are thrown out and taking them to our local schools. By bringing these simple but brightly colored art tools to classrooms it will help free up teacher resources as well as place them in students’ hands who might have gone without. With this month long campaign, we are able to help reduce what’s going to our landfills and helping those in our community.

Recycling Program Challenges

The City of Surprise is proud to offer curbside recycling for residents. We believe in providing a service to reduce impacts to the waste stream in our landfills. After all, that space is finite.

When we launched our curbside recycling program in 2004, we made money to subsidize the service costs as recyclables were a hot commodity. That allowed us to stabilize our solid waste (sanitation/recycling) rates for residents.

However, the past few years has seen much volatility in the recycling industry. China placed many restrictions on the recycled material it would accept from the United States and elsewhere. That has resulted in a significant drop in prices for recyclables and increased costs to drop-off the materials at recycling processing centers across the planet.

In 2017, the city generated revenue to help cover the costs of the recycling program; however, once demand dropped for many of the recycled materials the city starting incurring expenses as dumping fees increased. From May 2018 to May 2019, our recycling costs jumped nearly 300%. With these new dynamics at play in the recycling industry our city staff is exploring options for what we need to do in Surprise.

Surprise is not alone in evaluating recycling efforts. Many Arizona communities outside of the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix and across the country have either ended or modified their recycling programs due to the changing market.

If you haven’t had a chance to read up on the changes within the recycling market, I’d invite you to do an online search. You will find countless news stories that spotlight the concerns and detail how some communities are changing their approach to recycling.


  • August 6 & 8: Free Chest Compression Only CPR Classes (CCC-CPR) will be held at the Public Safety Building. CCC-CPR consists of continuous aggressive chest compression to keep the victim’s blood circulating through their brain and heart without mouth-to-mouth. Registration is required by calling the Fire Administrative Office at 623-222-5000.
  • August 16: Poetry Slam at WHAM, located at 16560 N. Dysart Rd. This free event is open to the public and features open mic for poetry, free verse and storytelling. No registration is required.
  • August 17: Dive-In Movie at the Surprise Aquatic Center. Relax in the pool or sit poolside and watch “Dumbo” on the big screen. Concession are available for purchase. Gates will open at 7:30 pm with the show starting at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $5 for residents and may be purchased in advance by visiting https://www.surpriseaz.gov/17/Parks-Recreation.

What’s under construction?

  • The O’Dell Center for Athletics Building is a new 100,000 square foot indoor activity center with a 30,000 square foot multi-court gymnasium, recreation/fitness center. It will also hold student lab classrooms and athletic department offices. This addition will continue to enhance the growth of the city as well as benefit residents.
  • SeaCa Packaging and Trimaco have received their Certificate of Occupancies and will soon be hiring! This is a great opportunity to join a growing company and work close to home.
  • The new Abrazo Micro-Hospital is under construction at Bell Road and the Loop 303. This hospital will offer a variety of services with a convenient location.
  • Marley Park has begun construction on their newest developments. The site will offer a number of models, community center, pool and basketball court.

Newly Opened

  • Stage Left Theater has opened at the Bell Mar development located on Bell Road and 115th Avenue. This production company aims at providing quality entertainment while providing a creative community atmosphere.
  • Mucho Burrito has opened at Bell Road and Civic Center Drive, located adjacent to In-N-Out Burger. They offer a wide variety of fresh Mexican food. Stop in for lunch or dinner.
  • Breez Dental Office is now open and accepting patients. They are located at 15331 W. Bell Road Ste. 204.
  • Dysart Unified School District has opened Growing Minds Preschool which is located at 17999 W. Surprise Farms Loop S. The latest addition to DUSD offers hands on learning through play while using a creative curriculum. They are now enrolling children aged 2-5. Please visit www.GrowingMindsPreschool.org for more information.

Traffic and Road Construction

  • Road widening is well underway for Waddell Road starting at Bullard and ending at Litchfield Road. This project is scheduled for completion mid-September.
  • Widening on Waddell Road from the Loop 303 to Reems Road will soon begin construction. This project will last approximately 2 months.
  • The traffic signal installation at Cactus and Sarival will be complete by the end of August.

Additionally, please note that local utility companies have ongoing projects that require some disruption to the traffic flow. The city works very closely with them to avoid traffic impacts as much as possible.