Finding the will to recycle

Finding the will to recycle

There are 30 comments on the The Santa Fe New Mexican story from Nov 8, 2008, titled Finding the will to recycle. In it, The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that:

Photo: Clockwise from left, Vanessa Baca, Sergio Castillo, Chris Kavanaegh, Jake Naranjo and Asael Garcia sort reusable materials Friday at the Buckman Road recycling facility.

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Frank Ettenberg

Vienna, Austria

#1 Nov 9, 2008
I've been living abroad in Vienna for some time
and I'm impressed by the advanced and well funded recycling program over here. Most people live in apartment buildings here so the city's responded by designing and installing multipurpose collectors usually w/in walking distance from where you live. I recently read about the opening
an ultramodern incinerator-facility that burns unrecycleable trash with a very high heat. I have no idea about how they neutralize the fumes - but I'm fairly certain that's been taken care of. You see-
no land is available for landfill so an incinerator makes some sense.

The educational level of Austria is also relatively high, so people are more receptive to newer and more effective recycling measures than in Santa Fe. I'm
aware that there's a serious social problem
in many parts of the USA that involves the
degeneration of the educational system. If
this isn't addressed, or is let to get steadily worse, you can't expect folks
to have a sensitive, responsive relationship to their environment.

Saint Augustine, FL

#2 Nov 9, 2008
I just returned to the States after having spent six years in England. I visited Santa Fe last month and rented a house in Monte Sereno. Despite three attempts to have bottles and newspapers collected with the rubbish, I had no luck. I packed the car and went to Albertsons, expecting recycling bins like supermarkets in the UK have and, again, no luch. I asked where the recyling center was and, after driving around for 20 minutes and asking directions several times, I was unable to find it. Why does such a progressive city as Santa Fe make it so difficult to do the right thing? Santa Fe should be showing the rest of the country how to lead in this regard.

Santa Fe, NM

#3 Nov 9, 2008
There's just about zero support from business and commerce for any recycling.

When I lived in New England decades ago, a joint political group formed, ranging from enviros to conservative Republicans [one headed the group] to legislate returnable beer bottles with a nickel deposit.

Wasn't easy; but, we passed the law and it worked just fine. Has it ever gotten out of committee in the Roundhouse?

Albuquerque, NM

#4 Nov 9, 2008
I also moved here from an area which recycled voluntarily and religiously, Oregon. Early efforts were similar to Santa Fe, in that the haulers were reluctant to cooperate, and citizens were unsure of what was a number 1 or number 2 plastic, or why did labels need to be removed?, etc. The haulers blamed the stupid voters, the government blamed the haulers, and it took a long time to change. But, when everyone woke up to the solution, participation skyrocketed. "Comingled recycling". Simple. Easy to teach. Only one garbage can (which in Philadelphia they call "slops" and sell to the New Jersey pig farmers), and one recycling bin into which cans, cardboard, plastic is placed. Of course, it required Waste Mangement to cooperate. We now have waste management here. No such luck. So we have to load up the car and go to the transfer station, where we have to first sign up that we do indeed have trash, after having gone to the county to purchase a card which must be paid for, then carry the stuff up a staircase, all of which discourages rather than encourages recycling.
My solution: since Waste Management has been given a monopoly, require them to provide recycling at no additional cost to subscribers. Eliminate recycluing fees at the transfer station. Place a 10 cent recycling fee/refund on cans and bottles. Then watch Santa Fe join the rest of the country.

Albuquerque, NM

#5 Nov 9, 2008
Many people has many good ideas, the problem is always trynng to make someone else to do it. Maybe if we get organize as responsable citizens form like a watch group or advisory board, get a plan together and make sure it gets done with bussines school(educating)churches and many other groups. By the way big Walmart doesn't take plastic bags for recycle (anybody surprise?)

United States

#6 Nov 9, 2008
The village of Cochiti Lake established a recycling program last year. Jim Hamilton, one of the town residents coordinated the project.

We built a small fenced-in depot with several bins to collect recyclables. Our recycling depot is open Saturday mornings and is monitored by volunteers. We recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminum cans. Then once a week, a volunteer takes the papers to a recycling company in Albuquerque and other volunteers haul bins of glass and plastics to the Buckmann Road Transfer station in northwest Santa Fe. Aluminum cans are sold to an aluminum recycling company in Albuquerque.

In the first year of Cochiti Lake Recycles program, our village of 400 residents recyled more than 9 TONS of recyclables.
d clark

Rio Rancho, NM

#7 Nov 9, 2008
It is really easy to make home compost. Fill a bin with grass clippings and leaves. Then add all your vegetable-type trash, fruit, and coffee grounds. Water it once in a while. In a few months, you have dark rich compost, for free!(And the world has a little less trash)
Jane Schwartz


#8 Nov 9, 2008
We live in Santa Fe part time and are amazed at the restrictions put on recycling in the city. In Ohio we don't have to bundle, cut up and measure cardboard. Cardboard, junk mail, all glass, cans, etc. are put in one container and the recycle center does the sorting. Everyone recycles around us in Ohio. Santa Fe has more NOs on their lists than YES for items to recycle.
Michael Abatemarco

Santa Fe, NM

#9 Nov 9, 2008
My sister paid me a visit recently from Los Angeles. She was amazed and I was embarrassed by all the restrictions on recycling here. Every time she tried to place something in a bin that, in California, would automatically be recycled, I had to tell her "No. We can't recycle that here." Another problem I've faced as a resident of Santa Fe is theft of bins. It happened at two different addresses I've lived at even though I marked the addresses on the bins. Having to go pick up more bins at Waste Management is a pain. It would be great if the city provided them automatically as they did recently with trash containers and it would probably encourage more citizens to participate in recycling efforts.

Huntsville, AL

#10 Nov 9, 2008
I call on you Mr Mayor to kick off a city wide program to educate your fine citizens of this wonderful city ! To implement a recycle program without the typical politics and/or greed that accompanies so many of your programs.

Albuquerque, NM

#11 Nov 9, 2008
We live in the county. Waste Management picks up our trash and, as far as I know, offers no recycling options or service. This means we have to haul everything we want re cycled ourselves. Not a realistic solution if the city and the county want to encourage recycling.
On a slightly different subject: Whole Foods provides four mutually exclusive recycling bins at the store's exit. I never have figured out exactly what goes in which.(Any way they're trying.)

R Warren

Boca Raton, FL

#12 Nov 9, 2008
It has been my experience in Santa Fe, that when it comes to environmental and sustainability issues, most are incredible frauds that talk the talk but won't walk the walk. There is enough phony environmental hot air expelled in the county to solve the energy crisis.

“You probably already know me.”

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe

#13 Nov 9, 2008
I get all my cans and bottles picked up on the curb, but the recycle people who drive the trucks and pick up the bins have a really negative attitude against the residents in Santa Fe. I personally think they could use a couple classes in common courtesy.

United States

#14 Nov 9, 2008
I recycle all that they will take, except for the few glass containers I collect, because the city will either toss them into the regular trash, or yellow tag my container because I had glass in it.

I just love how the city collects recyclables on holidays, but dumping them into the old trash trucks, mixing them all up, and probably just disposing of it into tha landfill.

At 50 cents a pound, the city won't get my aluminum cans, I recycle those myself.

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#15 Nov 9, 2008
The answer is simple, recycling doesn't have to be more of a hassle than trashing. It's not in other cities, but Santa Fe has stupid rules. Bins too small. Pre-sorting. Cutting up, bundling, and tying. Provide bigger bins, with wheels on them, and implement a sorting process at the transfer station so that residents can just toss all recyclables in the bin, and we'll se a difference.

Since: Apr 08

Carlsbad, NM

#16 Nov 9, 2008
Eagle wrote:
I also moved here from an area which recycled voluntarily and religiously, Oregon.
I, too, lived in a state (CA) that recycled everything. The disposal company not only provided the roll-aways for regular garbage, and lawn clippings, but they provided residents with portable bins for plastic, glass, and cardboard that one could take in the house, fill up, and put outside on the curb on pick-up day. Worked very well.

Here in Carlsbad, I bought a laundry basket to keep in my house to put my plastic recyclables in (I am a big believer in recycling). I only bought the one because that is all the room I had :). I don't mind going every couple of weeks and dumping the plastics in the dumpster; but it would be nice if we could be provided with bins to use and a disposal company to pick them up.
_______________O BAMA WINS

Santa Fe, NM

#17 Nov 9, 2008
Do they take glass, yet?
_______________O BAMA WINS

Santa Fe, NM

#18 Nov 9, 2008
I AGREE. Follow CA, if you ever want NM to recycle properly, not brain surgery, just copy the smarter state that are on the cutting edge.

NM seems to be where CA was in the 70's. Still lots of littering and poor management at the stat and local levels.
George Pomonis

Perham, MN

#19 Nov 9, 2008
Without recycling many resources are diluted thus making it more difficult and costly to reclaim them.
Mark Johnson Australia

Kedron, Australia

#20 Nov 9, 2008
As a Santa Fe resident living overseas, I am baffled by the degree of difficulty in recycling in the city and county of Santa Fe.
Here in Queensland, we have a wheelie bin that we throw all recyclables in - no sorting, no bundling - it ALL goes in. It makes it easy and I would safely say that in my neighborhood of 45 homes, all but one or two have their bins out every pick up day. I hated getting the yellow sticker on my tiny recycling tub when I lived there because I had (gasp) mixed paper in with plastic or some such nonsense. Step up to the plate Waste Management and make it easier for Santa Feans to participate in saving our beautiful planet.

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