Recyling is mainstream.
Most large and medium sized cities have a recycling program in
place. But why recycle when we
plenty of empty land to trash?
For as long as I can remember my grandmother recycled. She was way ahead of her time. She thought it was just the right thing to
do. Sending stuff to a landfill did not
make sense to her. She recycled as much
as she could. She hauled newsletters to
the local recycling center, took bottles back to the store and recycled unwanted or discarded items to local second
hand or goodwill stores. In short, she
was trying to have a smaller carbon footprint before those words entered the
Most larger Northern New Mexico communities now have a
recycling program, this includes; Los Alamos, Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and
several of the other surrounding communities. In Santa Fe we have had a local
pickup recycling for over a decade. It
has changed over the years, but it is now a citywide program, encompassing both
businesses and residences. On an average
month, all of us combined are recycling several hundred tons of material
(i.e. paper ~270 tons, cardboard ~175 tons,
plastic ~25 tons, tin ~15 tons, aluminum ~5 tons, other materials over 30
tons), and this does not include the cardboard and other materials that are
being directly recycled by local businesses and residences not going through
the City of Santa Fe program (e.g. local Albertson and other retail outlets directly
recycle cardboard for cash). This is over
500 tons not going to the landfill!
Making products with recycled materials, instead of from
scratch saves the environment from destruction, but also saves energy and saves
For example, there is no limit to the number of times an
aluminum can can be recycled. It is
estimated that it takes just 5% of the energy to produce a new can from an used
one. That is a 95% savings for every
aluminum container recycled!
Glass is another great product that can be recycled. It takes about 40% less energy to produce a
new glass container from a used one; saving great amounts of energy, water,
soda ash, limestone and sand. It takes about 1,000,000 years for glass to
decompose in a landfill!
Just as importantly recycling
cardboard and paper, not only saves trees it saves about 65% of the energy
required to produce new paper products.
Plus reducing greatly the bleaches and harmful chemicals used to produce
new paper and cardboard. It is estimated
that making a ton of paper from recycled materials saves about 7,000 gallons of
Paper products are collected locally are bundled and shipped
to recycling centers in New Mexico and Arizona. In as little as 30 days from
the day recycled, a paper it could be back on your doorstep as your New
The materials Santa Fe collects for recycling is sold to
recycling centers, thus we actually are getting paid for our waste
A secret about recycling is it creates jobs. Job hauling,
sorting, and remanufacturing recycled goods - all new jobs. The more we recycle
the more jobs we create. Recycling is not only environmentally sound,
it a good economically sound
practice. Recycling, whether a
business or a residence, just makes good sense. My grandmother was just ahead
of her time. But she definitely gave me
the recycle bug. So let's start saving a
boat load of water and a mountain of energy today - begin recycling if you
aren't and increase what you recycle if you do.
Recycling Sites in Santa Fe