Letter: Recycling is more than a feel good program


A bit of research will explain that the primary reason most folks take the extra effort to recycle is because they care about the environment. Recycling and using products made from recycled materials conserves energy and water, reduces pollution, preserves resources and protects wildlife. It seems to me that folks who recycle in Taos might care about these features.

If Taos delivered 2,968 tons of material last year and sold 43 percent of that for $59,800 and if the landfill cell lasts seven years, that reduces a full cell’s worth of space every 10.5 years, saving $2 million, which is $189,032 per year. With an operating cost of $300,402, that leaves a deficit of $51,570. If the recycle center were to charge $0.01 a pound, that would bring in a revenue of $20 per ton, an added revenue of $59,360, excess of the current deficit.

There is currently little incentive here for reducing our waste. However, composting all our food waste, feeding the hungry with all unused food, continuing to reduce our waste stream by increasing our recycling, and buying less that creates waste, such as buying bulk and not buying low-cost materials from box stores that end up in the landfill, and bringing our own bags to the store all help. No one of these actions will make a big change, but many small actions, combined, will make a difference.

–  Carl Rosenberg, San Cristobal