Gilbert Bulk Trash and Recycling Program Survey Results

The trash and recycling industry is changing in the United States. In 2018, China, the largest consumer of recyclables in the world, began imposing new rules on the recycled goods it purchases as part of an anti-pollution campaign. Now, each package of goods that China accepts can only have a maximum contamination rate of  0.5 percent. With these stricter standards, a stray plastic bag or piece of Styrofoam can disqualify an entire load of recycling.   

Gilbert is using the community’s feedback to help plan for the future of its trash and recycling services. The results below are based on responses collected in the 2019 Gilbert Bulk Trash and Recycling Program survey. 

When was the survey released? 

The survey was shared from September 3-17, 2019on our social media channels (NextdoorFacebookInstagramTwitter), e-notification lists, and Gilbert’s website. We needed at least 2,380 responses to reach an accurate sample size for Gilbert’s population of 266,971This would also give us a 95% confidence level and 2% margin of error. 

We received 5,160 responses! Let’s look at what Gilbert residents had to say.


Here’s what you had to say about recycling in Gilbert: 

Bulk Trash 

Here’s what you had to say about bulk trash in Gilbert: 

Bonus Trivia!

Thank you to all of our community members who provided their feedback! We are using this data to help Gilbert gauge public opinion on bulk and recycling services. The feedback will help us understand how you use Gilbert’s recycling service so we can take proactive measures in reducing contamination and providing better service. This data will be utilized as Gilbert’s Environmental Services team continues to evaluate our current program and the market to better understand the future of the community’s recycling and bulk trash programs. We’ll be sure to share more information as soon as it’s available.

It’s so important to reduce contamination by recycling right. We need your help! View what’s acceptable and unacceptable in your recycling container at 

Learn more helpful tips and bulk items we do and do not collect at 

Want to make your own connections?  View the data set here! 





Growth and Development

Finance and Operations

10 comments on "Gilbert Bulk Trash and Recycling Program Survey Results"

  1. I wish we can educate ourselves and our children more about how we handle trash. I would love to see field trips for students to see the recycling center and/or trash utility process area. I am not sure this and future generations can fully appreciate where the trash they produce ends up and we can definitely do more to bridge the gap for them. (My 5 year old had no idea that the chicken he eats is an actual chicken.)

  2. I wish we could follow in the footsteps of the Bay area. Their program is so robust. Recycle bins everywhere for each type of material. Any they are not unsightly.

    It would be nice to see recycling options downtown. On the off chance we are carrying a plastic bottle, Iit would be nice to dispose of it I stead of having to keep it until we get home to recycle it.

  3. I hear comments in the news media that recycling is not cost effective currently because China is no longer accepting our recyclables. If that is true please do not dupe us into believing something is still being done with the items. I always recycle grocery bags at Fry’s and one day when the bin was full I asked one of the kids where to put my bags and he took them saying he would dump the bin in the back……in the trash!! It is disappointing to take the time and effort to do the right thing only to find out the people leading the iniative is NOT doing what we are being told. And if it is not cost effective it is time to cut the program. Just like in my own budget….I can’t keep spending if I don’t have the money without it coming back to bite me!!!

    1. Thanks for reading, Bonnie. The comments that you’ve likely heard in the news media aren’t completely accurate. As mentioned in the story, China is still accepting our recyclable material but their standards for what is acceptable have gotten more strict. As a result, we need to make sure that residents are recycling properly and that they’re not throwing items into their recycling bins that would contaminate the rest of the materials. The only time that recyclable materials end up in the trash is when they’re contaminated above the acceptable levels and they can’t properly be separated from the contaminant. Every Gilbert resident can do their part to avoid that by making sure that they’re recycling according to our recycling guidelines.

  4. Gilbert’s trash & recycling program is excellent. My only suggestion is, do the trash pickup on one side of each street & recycling pickup on the opposite side of each street. That way each truck only has to go down each street once a week, instead of circling all these huge neighborhoods twice to pickup bins on each side. And it’s certainly no big deal to wheel one bin to the other side of the street. Really wondering why this isn’t the rule?

  5. What will happen to glass material waste if pulled from the recycle pick up? I have heard that Mesa has pulled back on their recycle program. There has to be an alternative than wasteland these materials.

  6. To increase participation in the drop off centers could you possibly make an informational video on the drop off centers, where they are, what you can bring and when? The town is great at creating these videos and they are very informative.

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