Peering into the Bins: Las Cruces Recycling Education on the Streets

Nicolas Jacques, Isaac Mendoza, and Cecelia Martinez are recycling auditors, roaming the streets of Las Cruces with smiles, but also with tags. They’re with the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) which is sending out crews to physically inspect blue recycling bins throughout the city in an effort to educate the public about what does and does not go into the bin.

It’s called “Tug, Tip, Tag and Turn,” a program developed by The Recycle Partnership. First a tug; generally, recyclables are lightweight, so if the bin feels heavy, something is probably wrong. Secondly, the lid is tipped open for a look inside. Then it’s either putting a “Thank You!” tag – for an all clear with the right recyclables – or an “Oops!” tag which has a note about what was wrong in the recycling bin – trash, yard clippings, plastic bags.

Lastly, for those bins that have huge problems, perhaps as being used specifically as trash bin and not recycling, they will be turned around and not picked up by the drivers.

Laura Lashley watches the tagging from her garage. She’s glad to hear that her recycling blue bin got the “Thank You!” tag, and she noted that she has restricted what she puts in her recycling to make sure it fits the bill. “It’s good to have it be an education for what people may be putting in their bins,” said Lashley.