As members of the Arizona Science and Policy Network (AzSPN), lab members Erin Murphy, Infynity Hill, Miranda Bernard, and Álex Tuñas-Corzón have been advocating with alongside another SoLS student, Levi Helm, to improve waste management in the state of Arizona. Over the past few months, they educated themselves on Arizona’s regulatory framework for waste management, interviewed sustainability and recycling coordinators from municipalities across the state, and met with local officials to learn more about the challenges Arizona recycling faces. Using this information, they developed policy recommendations specific to the needs of Arizona municipalities.
On February 6th, three people from the waste management group headed to the capital for the AzSPN’s Science Day event. Science Day aims to bring together scientists and policymakers to work towards a better future for Arizonans. The event began with an exposition where representatives were able to visit different tables and speak to graduate students about environmental, technological and social issues facing the state. The waste management group’s table was highly visited by many legislators from both the house and senate interested in the issue of recycling. The group’s main point of advocacy was for the appropriation of the recycling grant which has not been funded for the last 10 years.
As a result of this effort, the group has since met with two members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Mitzi Epstein (D-18) and Rep. Domingo DeGrazia (D-10), who are interested in proposing their bill ideas in the next legislative session (2021).