That empty milk carton you carefully rinsed and tossed into your recycling bin travels to the South Central Solid Waste Authority.
Tiffany Pegoda is the recycling coordinator here.
“We manage most of the trash and recyclables for Dona Ana County…”
This is the place where the city and county trash comes. And it’s also where the recycling comes. Both of these two things are brought into the same building, but they’re not taken to the same place. In fact, they go in opposite directions.
Trash goes to the Corralitos Landfill outside Las Cruces.
Recycling goes to El Paso, where Phoenix-based Friedman recycling sorts it…for a fee.
Only if South Central sends enough recycling, do they receive a profit share from Friedman.
Around 60 percent of the recyclable material is cardboard.
It’s a different story when it comes to aluminum.
“For us we only recover about less than 10 percent…of aluminum…we just want the stuff recycled so we actually urge people save your aluminum and go sell it.”
“Because we run the landfill also, the trash and the tipping fees can offset the cost for recycling.”
Most residents pay around $10 for trash, $5 for recycling.
Miguel Silva, councilman for Las Cruces District 1, was one of the people to implement the current program.
“Anytime that you’re removing solid waste…there is a fee for that….cost was for those operating expenses.”
On the surface, the benefits of recycling don’t seem to be fiscal…but the reasons the program was implemented in Las Cruces are the same reasons it continues today…even with the fee.
“I think it’s important to point out…recycling creates five times more jobs than landfilling.”