Learning to love the solid waste act
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LEARNING TO LOVE THE SOLID WASTE ACT. E. Gifford Stack Solid Waste Bureau Outreach Section Manager New Mexico Environment Department 827-2653 [email protected] www.nmenv.state.nm.us/swb. In a June 29, 2006 letter sent to you:.

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E. Gifford Stack

Solid Waste Bureau

Outreach Section Manager

New Mexico Environment Department


[email protected]


In a June 29, 2006 letter sent to you:

“The New Mexico Solid Waste Act … includes provisions … calling for post-secondary institutions in New Mexico to join with all other citizens and sectors in efforts to recycle valuable materials and reduce the waste stream….”

New Mexico Solid Waste Act(NMSA 1978 74-9-1)

Overall goal:

“…to divert twenty-five percent of all solid waste from solid waste disposal facilities by July 1, 1995, and fifty percent of all solid waste by July 1, 2000….”

Each post-secondary educational institution shall (NMSA 74-9-16):

  • Plan for waste reduction and recycling

  • Appoint a recycling coordinator

  • Implement waste reduction and recycling programs

  • Target high grade paper, corrugated cardboard, and glass

  • Compost organic waste

  • Educate students, faculty, and staff

Plan details

  • Submit for approval to Secretary of General Services

  • Update biennially

  • Updates must be approved prior to adoption

Each central purchasing office shall:(NMSA 74-9-19)

  • Establish specifications, policies and practices to buy recycled products

  • Offer a 5% price preference

Did you know?

  • Over 75% of the nation’s colleges and universities recycle

  • The average campus recycles 22% of its waste

  • Many recycle over 40% of their waste

How to Develop a Recycling Program

Step 1: Seek Support For Recycling

Step 2: Research Campus Conditions

Step 3: Develop Scope and Scale

Step 4: Identify Markets

Step 5: Identify Program Goals

Step 6: Determine Funding Source

*Outdoor Campus Containers

*Outdoor Campus Containers

*Outdoor Campus Containers

*Indoor Campus Containers

For Beverage Containers

*Indoor Campus Containers

Desk side

*Indoor Campus Containers

For Paper

*Indoor Campus Containers

Campus Housing

How to Implement a Recycling Program

Task 1: Create a Program Name and Logo

Task 2: Develop Support Network

Task 3:Establish Tasks and Timeline

Task 4: Set Up Recycling Collection Points

Task 5: Record Progress

Task 6: Encourage Waste Reduction

*Recycling Program Logos

*Signagefor OfficePaper






Model Recycling Programs

  • University of New Mexico (UNM)

  • Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)

University of New Mexico Recycling Program

  • Managed by Safety, Health & Environmental Affairs

  • 1 full-time recycling coordinator

  • 7 recycling technicians

  • Collaborates with Physical Plant and Housing Departments

UNM Recycling

  • Started with paper

*UNM Recycling in 2005

UNM RecyclingLessons Learned:

  • Advertise to campus community

  • Prove you are reliable

  • Communicating with customers is key to forgiveness

  • Best price for materials

  • Improving equipment and safety

  • Improving employee pride in work

Central New Mexico Community CollegeRecycling Program

  • Advisory committee oversight

  • 1 full-time recycling coordinator

  • 6 recycling staff members

  • 3 collection vehicles

CNM Recycling

  • Surplus property for sale

  • Recycles

    white paper

    corrugated cardboard



    other metals (iron/copper/steel)

    toner cartridges

    miscellaneous (vehicle motors)

CNM Recycling

Annual Averages—1998 - 2005

  • Materials revenue of $23,000 per year

  • Recycled 30 tons of paper per year

  • 25% of white ledger purchased was recycled

CNM RecyclingLessons Learned:

  • Establish centralized pick up locations

  • Set regular pick up schedules

  • Create recycling awareness

  • Get management support and sponsorship

  • Financially self-sufficient, not profitable

  • Portrays ‘green image’ to the community

Additional Resources

College and University Recycling Council


New Mexico Recycling Coalition


What to do next?

  • Schedule campus one-on-one with SWB

  • Visit recycling campuses

  • Attend Recycling Facility Operator Certification course, December 5 - 7 in Santa Fe

  • Attend NMED College and University Recycling workshop in 2007

  • Attend the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit: Forging Solutions at Colleges and Universities, February 22-23, 2007 at University of Colorado at Boulder

  • Join the New Mexico Recycling Coalition

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