Avid recyclers trekked to the East Mesa auditorium of the Doña Ana Community College on Tuesday night to share their ideas about where we should go with recycling in Las Cruces. They heard how we got to where we are, where global recycling is today, how that affects Las Cruces, and the most likely future options for our community, based on our population and location in southern New Mexico. Then they had the chance to speak face-to-face with the Director of the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) to share their ideas. Patrick Peck, SCSWA director, kicked off the evening by giving the audience aRead More →

Recycling “Listening Sessions”  are here!  Join the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) for an evening of dialogue, questions and answers.  SCSWA will host two public meetings called “listening Sessions” to work with our community to develop what curbside residential recycling may look like for the next decade. Presentations will begin with possible future scenarios for Las Cruces; input from residents is encouraged, questions will be answered and attendees will be asked to complete a brief survey. Things to Know Community recycling programs across the U.S. are working hard to decrease contamination and increase the quality of recyclable materials. New options are being explored toRead More →

While recycling around the nation is evolving into a clean, no-contamination effort… one key element has not changed: never bag your recyclables. Recyclables should be clean, dry, and loose in the bin. Recyclables in bags may not get recycled. Tarkeysha Burton, Recycling Coordinator for the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), explains, “If we could get residents to stop bagging their recyclables, that would be a great step forward – recyclables must be loose in the bin, so we can see what’s there.” When recyclables leave Las Cruces, they are transported to the Friedman Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where they are processed at the rateRead More →

“The Board of the SCSWA has always pushed the message of high-quality products only in our blue curbside bins,” explains Patrick Peck, South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) Director. “That means no trash, no food waste, and only acceptable clean and dry products.” “Acceptable” items are those which by contract the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) can sell and send on to use in the manufacture of new goods. Contamination ruins entire loads of recyclables, making them unusable, or at the very least drops the value dramatically. And that’s exactly the message that came out of the nationwide solid waste and recycling conference hosted recently byRead More →

Community recycling programs across the U.S. are scrambling to decrease contamination levels and thereby increase the quality of recyclable materials. New options are also being used to educate recyclers to reduce contaminants before blue bins reach the curb. Patrick Peck, Director, South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), explains, “The fee increase approved in March by the SCSWA Board has been postponed as long as possible, but we finally had to implement it on September 1st.” The rate increase comes on the heels of sudden changes implemented by China on January 1st of this year, which included banning many lower quality plastics and paper, and rejectingRead More →

Community Relationships, Education Important Factor in “The Evolving Ton” Las Cruces, NM – July 31, 2018 – The Doña Ana County Illegal Dumping Partnership (IDP) has been active in the County, engaging in public education efforts and coordinating volunteers to cleanup communities. As a result of their efforts, as well as that of volunteers and community members, 172 tons of illegally dumped materials; mostly household waste, construction materials, appliances and tires, were removed and properly disposed from July 2017 to May 2018. The IDP is happy to report that many remediated dumpsites are remaining debris free. “Throughout the year, we visit elementary schools, hold communityRead More →

Just like any other market, the recycling market has its highs and lows. Nowadays, we hear so much about how our environment is in desperate need of our help and how we need to change our habits to benefit the environment. At times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the outstanding numbers presented to us on the amount of waste produced (take the Garbage Patch for example), and the amount of effort it would take for us to see improvement in our environment. You might think that recycling and waste reduction are not powerful tools against pollution, however, they are more useful than you think.Read More →

By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels It’s time for the daily pickup at the Mountain View Market Co-Op on El Paseo: Anna Ball is picking up kitchen scraps to help feed her five pigs and 150 chickens. The bags are piled high with rinds and peelings from fresh fruits and veggies processed by the CoOp’s juice bar. Nagisa Suzuki, the Co-Op’s general manager, helps her load the trimmings from the prep kitchen to her minivan. It’s a perfect form of recycling! Instead of tossing the organic material into the trash for decomposition and methane production in our local landfill, the store works with local farmers andRead More →

By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels  At the beginning of 2018, China turned the global recycling industry upside down. Overnight the “land of the rising sun” went from being the largest recipient of most of the world’s recyclables to rejecting most of the international ships loaded with recycling due to contamination issues (China lowered the acceptable rate to point-5 percent) or because the recycling was full of materials they suddenly no longer accepted. The impacts were global. Las Cruces’ nationally-recognized “Cadillac” curbside recycling program took a punch to the stomach – after 10 years of success and awards. But that’s old news –now it’s sixRead More →

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the common slogan you hear almost everywhere, and is the common goal of most environmentally friendly efforts. However, it seems like most of the emphasis is placed on recycling alone. We often hear about recycling and the benefits that come with it, as well as the great opportunities if we recycle and reuse already? The “three R’s” are a good way to remind us how we can help our environment, and most importantly, how we can waste less. You might ask yourself, how important is waste reduction? Waste reduction ensures that you will be using your products to their fullest extent, and isRead More →