New Mexico Participates in America Recycles Day

By Tom Nagawiecki
Environmental Services Specialist
Los Alamos County

Each year, like a national holiday, America Recycles Day comes around to remind us about the importance of recycling.

New Mexico itself has been fortunate to see continued growth of recycling programs with new or expanded programs taking off this past year in Los Alamos County, San Miguel County, Las Vegas, Raton, Angel Fire, Taos County, San Juan County, Torrance County, Deming, Cibola County, Otero County, Cloudcroft, Tularosa, Chaparral and Truth or Consequences.

Here in Los Alamos County a glass drop-off recycling program was established. This program began at the end of September and has seen great participation from residents. 

The program is estimated to help keep more than 100 tons of glass out of the landfill every year, which will benefit the environment and reduce costs. 

Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day.

More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day and community-driven national awareness initiative dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.

America Recycles Day is a program of Keep America Beautiful. Last year, two million people celebrated recycling at more than 2,000 events across the nation on America Recycles Day.  

Recycling is something we can all agree is truly valuable to our economy. The nonprofit organization “As You Sow” estimates that the value of discarded packaging in the U.S. is worth $11.4 billion.

Recycling 75 percent of the nation’s waste will create nearly 1.5 million jobs by 2030, according to the Tellus Institute.

New Mexico communities have hosted more than 800 awareness events since 1998 including recycling drives and collection events, friendly competitions, trainings, incentives-based “Get Caught Recycling” programs, tours, demonstrations, school activities and more.

This year, New Mexico will play host to more than 30 events around the state during the month of November.

There will also be several events in relation to a newly created Business Recycling Recognition program developed by a partnership between the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, NMSU Institute for Energy and the Environment and the New Mexico Environment Department Green Zia Environmental Leadership Program.

Local events recognizing businesses nominated for their reduction, reuse and recycling practices will take place around America Recycles Day in Taos, Silver City, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

For details on these events, visit www.nmgreenchamber.com

“America Recycles Day gives us all an opportunity to take a look at how we are reducing, reusing and recycling. Make an additional effort on Nov. 15 to put new habits into place, such as making smart purchasing practices with recycled-content products and looking for products with recyclable packaging,” said English Bird, executive director of the New Mexico Recycling Coalition.

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