The city of Taos changes course and decides to reopen the recycling center | Local News

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Taos City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday evening (November 23) to reopen the Bertha Street recycling center as part of an “intermediate and long-term eight-point plan for sustainable recycling at community scale “.

After the center was closed by the Taos Regional Landfill Council on September 10, it appeared that the city, which owned the property, intended to keep the center closed for good. City manager Rick Bellis cited the low diversion rate of just 7.6 percent as the reason for keeping the center closed, as well as the financial burden of maintaining it.

Bellis had said in a previous email that the city had no plans to reopen the center and he recommended to council that it be used for storage.

City management appears to have changed direction since then, deciding to reopen the recycling center in their expanded eight-point plan.

In addition to reopening the center, the plan includes an outline that supports the national Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act; a target for additional plastic and recycling regulations at the state level; continued recycling of “green waste” to landfill (refrigerators, washing machines, tires, etc.); encourage the private recycling sector; the creation of a regional community recycling council; regulate disposable single-use products; and emphasizing public education.

In order to fund the reopening of the center, the city plans to use about six to seven months of reserves from the old 75-cent recycling fee.

However, the recycling center does not envisage an immediate opening. Due to the upcoming holiday season and the time it takes to train individuals to run the center, Bellis said the goal is to open by June 30, 2022.

Regarding what items will be accepted, Bellis said “at this point our recommendation is to reopen the center when it closes, starting with cardboard and letting the market dictate whatever we can get rid of, collect and to move”.

Going forward, Bellis said the 75-cent fee would be waived and recycling would be free for all individuals. He did mention, however, that they would charge a fee to for-profit recyclers who provide a collection service and then bring their charges to the center.

This is a developing story. Look for an extended version in next week’s journal.

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