Recycling Returns to Taos

During the last four years or so, the CCA Board placed a big bin in the Carson Post Office to collect unwanted junk mail that residents picked up from their post office boxes. A board member or volunteer hauled the bin to the Taos Recycling Center every week or so and emptied it there. News that the Taos Landfill Board had decided to close the Taos Recycling Center on September 10, 2021, was greeted with dismay.

Among the reasons cited by the Taos Landfill Board for the closure was the low diversion rate of trash away from landfill and recycling, which at 7.6% could not justify the continued operation of the recycling center at a loss. Another problem was the closing of doors by countries such as China to other countries’ recycled plastic and glass. Additionally, much of the recycling received at the Taos Recycling Center was contaminated and not saleable.

While town Manager Rick Bellis had initially indicated that the town had no intention of reopening the recycling center again, Taos Landfill Board announced in later November that it will be reopening the recycling center on Bertha Street from early January through to at least June 2022. This is part of a plan which supports: 

  •  the national Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act; 
  • a goal for additional state-level plastic and recycling regulations; 
  • continued “green waste” recycling at the landfill (refrigerators, washing machines, tires, etc.); 
  • incentivizing the private recycling sector; 
  • creating a regional community recycling board; 
  • regulating single-use disposables; and 
  • focusing on public education.

Asingle-use plastic ban went into effect in the town of Taos on November 1. Taos County is also ounty has been working on a single-use plastic ban. Taos County Manager Brent Jaramillo has indicated that this item will appear before the commissioners for discussion sometime in January. 

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