County joins town recycling conversation

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 6/6/19

What's the issue: Town of Taos wants help from Taos County to fund and operate the Taos recycling center.What happened: Taos County Commission discussed the request at …

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County joins town recycling conversation

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What's the issue: Town of Taos wants help from Taos County to fund and operate the Taos recycling center.

What happened: Taos County Commission discussed the request at a regular meeting Tuesday (June 4) but took no formal action.

What's next: Commission might add recycling center to Taos County landfill board's list of responsibilities.

The details: Taos County Commissioners have received a plea for help from the town of Taos: Help with the recycling center.

The town's recycling center, which is also used by county residents, is costing Taos more money than selling the recyclables brings in.

The commissioners met for a regular meeting Tuesday to discuss a number of topics, including their involvement in the Taos Recycling Center.

While the commission did not make a vote on the assistance, they discussed the possibility of adding the recycling center to the Taos County Regional Landfill Board's scope.

"It just makes sense that [the recycling center] becomes a regional issue," said Commissioner Jim Fambro. "It's definitely something the community wants and it's something we can't let fail."

The town and county have sparred in the past on the recycling center, as the center is open to all Taos County residents even though only town residents pay for the center.

Following their discussion, the commission agreed to have Commissioner Candyce O'Donnell bring the idea to the Taos Regional Landfill Board. O'Donnell said she wanted to see some improvements to the center if the county was indeed going to be taking it over in the future.

"There is a pollution of the waste stream for cardboard and for paper," O'Donnell said of the recycling center's operations. "If we were to turn it over to the landfill board, we would want to see some changes like better education."

O'Donnell's concerns relate to the contamination of recyclable products at the recycle center that could cause a load to lose value when it is sold. Cardboard bales must be corrugated cardboard and not paper boxes like cereal or other boxes. In addition, cardboard must be clean and free of grease or food. Plastics must be cleaned before taking them to the center.

Taos County currently recycles cardboard and sells its cardboard to a Santa Fe company at $65 per ton return on the bales.

During the meeting, the commission also heard an update on the renovations to the plaza courthouse, which will add an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant elevator and will ensure the structure remains safe and sturdy for years to come.

In addition, the murals on the second floor of the building will remain untouched for visitors and locals to enjoy.

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