Tag Archives: recycling

Councilmember Chris Judd Newsletter • January 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns or complaints! You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

Recycling Update

The City of Surprise is still working on solutions to get us back to recycling. The challenge we face is almost half of the collected recyclables were being sent to the landfill by the recycling plant operator This resulted in constantly increasing fees being charged to the City by the recycling plant. Forcing our residents to pay these fees would not have addressed the problem – the problem being that most of the items we are used to recycling are no longer being used by the recycling industry.

Our city is working together with recycling partners and other cities to identify and implement recycling solutions. Our staff will give a presentation and discussion on the status of these efforts at a City Council Meeting in February. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I appreciate your continued concerns as we are moving towards a solution to bring recycling back.

Road Work

Waddell Road is still under construction and crews are working diligently to reopen the roadway from Loop 303 to Legacy Park by the end of February, as rain has caused some delays. Work will continue to early summer 2020 to complete the road improvements, but no additional full closures are expected. The Waddell Road widening project was approved by voters as part of the 2017 General Obligation (G.O.) Bond Election. Once completed, there will be a total of six travel lanes, a traffic signal at Waddell Road and Sarival Avenue, eliminate areas that have multiple lanes merging as well as the addition of streetlights, bicycle lanes and turn lanes.

Litchfield Road is also still under construction. This project is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2020. The improvements will include two additional lanes of travel, provisions for drainage, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street lighting and more. For more information on the Waddell Road widening project, Litchfield Road project or other G.O. Bond projects, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Underground utility work along the south side of Peoria Avenue is having an impact on traffic flow. This is county land with a private utility project completing the work. A completion date has not yet been confirmed.

Surprise Youth Council

The Surprise Youth Council offers opportunities for our youth to engage in our community in service projects and events. These young adults work hand in hand with schools, non-profits and local elected officials. I was honored to be able to sit down with these students and discuss their ideas, goals and futures. Thank you for your continued work in our city.

Councilmember Judd and Surprise Youth Council members seated at a conference room table.

Upcoming Events

In honor of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the city will be hosting a day of celebration and service. Please join City Council, city staff and residents as we gather in the City Hall Courtyard on Saturday, January 18, for the celebration. The event will kick off with a light breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program which will include local performances, an MLK art contest, a fantastic keynote speaker and much more. Immediately following the conclusion of the program, there will be an opportunity to participate in community service projects beginning at 9:45 a.m. I hope to see you there!

The Surprise Spring Training 5K is now accepting early registrations! This annual fun run takes participants on a scenic tour of the city before ending at the ballpark. Runners receive a shirt, medal and a ‘buy one, get one free’ coupon for select sections of the Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds game on March 7. To register online or for more information, please visit www.surprisestadium.com/events.

Council Meetings and Agendas

As a reminder, there will be two City Council Regular Meetings this month. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 7 at 6 p.m.; and the second meeting on Tuesday, January 21 at 6 p.m. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior. If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting, so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation.

City Offices Closed

All City Offices will be closed on January 20 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Councilmember Chris Judd Newsletter • October 2019

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns. You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

Recycling Updates

Our City of Surprise staff continues to evaluate the state of the recycling industry, and they are also exploring ideas with neighboring cities in search of solutions. We will be recycling again, in some form, once we have identified a reasonable path forward.

Fire Update

Surprise City Council has made Public Safety one of our top priorities – this means making sure that Fire-Medical and Police have the support they need to keep our community safe. The Surprise Fire-Medical Department (SFMD) has the authority to manage our ability to respond to fire and medical emergencies as they see fit.

Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott oversees the SFMD. He is responsible for implementing policies and procedures related to fire and medical that keep our community safe. This includes determining what equipment and personnel are staffed at each station.

Chief Abbott determined that the city would be better served with a Low Acuity unit that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Fire Station 305, as opposed to the engine (or pumper) that had only been in service 40 hours a week. That engine is still available to replace other engines when they are out of service for repair or maintenance and can be utilized for other needs as determined by the Fire Chief and as staffing permits.

I believe Chief Abbott and his team are doing a great job leading the SFMD, and I am 100% behind his decision-making ability. His experience and planning skills are a tremendous asset to the city, and this has been demonstrated by his many accomplishments over the past five years.

Volunteer for a Day of Service

The Neighborhood Services Department is looking for over 200 volunteers to participate in the upcoming Fall Day of Service. This event will be held on Saturday, October 19. This is a great way to give back to your community. You can participate as an individual, a family or group. Volunteers help to beautify the neighborhoods and build community pride. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N. Hollyhock Street, at 8 a.m. to receive their assignment; and should plan to serve until noon. Following the completion of the projects, there will be a party for all participants. There will be BBQ, live music, fun and games. If you would like to register, please contact Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov.

Sunday in the Park

A Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festival will be held at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave, on October 20 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Parking and entry are free! This family event offers live music, games, inflatables and much more. Bring your chairs or blanket and enjoy the variety of food and drinks available for purchase. Remember, dogs must be on leashes.

G.A.I.N. Night

G.A.I.N. night is an evening for promoting awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. Public Safety displays, games, trick-or-treating and much more will be hosted at Mark Coronado Park, 15850 N. Bullard Ave, on October 26 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. This is a fun family event that residents enjoy each year. Admission is free. Food and beverage is available for purchase.

Traffic and Road Construction

As Surprise continues to grow, the city is working on several significant transportation improvement projects. These projects will range from additional lanes to pavement improvement. The Transportation Projects Map can be found online and will give you a detailed look at the individual projects as well as expected timelines: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/DocumentCenter/View/43102/2019-Transportation-Projects-Map. Please send me an email if you have questions about specific roadways or projects.

Monthly Meet and Greet

I will be hosting my monthly meet and greet on Wednesday, October 16 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. This is an informal gathering, which makes it a great opportunity for you to ask me questions, share ideas, or chat about our community. The event will take place at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, 14029 W. Waddell Road. I hope to see you there.

Council Meetings and Agenda

As a reminder, there will be two City Council Regular Meetings this month, first being on Tuesday, October 1 and the second on Tuesday, October 15. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of two days prior. If you see something on the agenda that concerns you, please reach out before the meeting, so I have time to address your concern. I may even ask your questions during the City Council presentation.

Councilmember Chris Judd Newsletter • September 2019

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter and updates. It is my goal to ensure you receive a monthly newsletter containing important city updates as well as upcoming events. You can also find me on Facebook for frequent notifications. I am always available to hear your comments, questions, concerns. You may reach me anytime at chris.judd@surpriseaz.gov or 623-222-1326.

Recycling Updates

The City of Surprise has temporarily suspended our recycling program. About half of what we were putting into our blue recycle bins was being redirected to the landfill by the processing facility. Between much of our recycling being diverted to the landfill and a terrible market for the purchase of recycled materials, our recycling program costs were climbing too fast. We are working with staff and community partners to find a cost-effective way to get our recycling program back online and up to date.

You can help! Recycling does not start when you are sorting your trash, it starts when you are deciding what to purchase. Please consider where your packaging or products will go when you are done with them. Did you know that some shipping plastics are not recyclable? For example, Amazon’s new mailers are non-recyclable. Finding biodegradable alternatives to plastics will help. Please spend some time doing a little research on recycling and become educated on the subject. If you find something interesting or worth sharing, please let me know!

Please continue to practice positive recycling habits so the transition back to recycling is seamless. Also, please keep in mind that state and county regulations require that all materials placed in the black container must be bagged.

Residential Waste Cleanup Event

On Saturday, September 14, residents have the opportunity to dispose of a single load of residential waste per household, weighing no more than 2,000 pounds, at no cost. It’s happening 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W Deer Valley Rd. Please ensure you bring your proof of residency when you go.

Sunday in the Park

Mark Coronado Park will again be hosting Sunday in the Park Food Truck Festivals beginning September 15. Come to enjoy the wide variety of food trucks, the live music and mingling with other residents.

Day of Service

The Neighborhood Services Department is looking for over 200 volunteers to participate in the upcoming Fall Day of Service. This event will be held on Saturday, October 19. This is a great outreach opportunity for individuals, families and groups. Volunteers help to beautify the neighborhoods and build community pride. Following the completion of the projects, there will be a party for all participants. There will be BBQ, live music, fun and games. If you would like to register, please contact Ervin.Cutwright@surpriseaz.gov.

Traffic and Road Construction

As the City of Surprise continues to grow, road construction is inevitable. The widening of Waddell Road is underway, and I urge you to ensure you are allowing extra travel time or taking alternate routes.

We welcome the new traffic signal at Cactus and Sarival. This light will increase the flow of traffic and help to ensure an easier travel route during busy hours.

Waddell Road from 140th Drive to Bullard Avenue will be undergoing daytime work until mid-October.

Community Development

Christopher Todd at Marley Park has completed permits for 58 units, a new fitness center and a new leasing office. We welcome this new addition to the community and look forward to continued growth.

Your Opinion Matters

The annual Surprise General Plan 2035 Major Amendment is under a 60-day review. This is your opportunity to review the updates and submit your comments. The amendments will touch on three elements of the General Plan to include roadway systems, transit, growth elements and extending Surprise municipal planning area. The proposed amendments and maps illustrating the proposed boundary changes have been posted online. Please take a few moments to visit www.surpriseaz.gov/GeneralPlan and let your voice be heard.

Friendly Reminders

As a reminder, there will be two City Council Regular Meetings this month, first being on Thursday, September 5 and the second on Tuesday, September 17. Agendas are always posted online at a minimum of 24 hours prior.

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.

Events

  • 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.