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The VERY BEST resource we found for information on recycling is The New Mexico Recycling Coalition. Check out their "Out of the Box Recycling Ideas" and "How to Stop Junk Mail".
The Story of Stuff, is the shortest, clearest explanation about the negative impact of consumerism on our planet and ourselves with Annie Leonard. Trust me, you will be motivated to recycle after this little flick. Make sure the kids and their teachers see this one. 20 Min movie.
Recycle your computer, cell phone, eyeglasses, phonebooks and more. See below.
The city of Albuquerque has made it relatively painless for us to recycle paper, plastic and cans. Albuquerque offers curbside pickup for most residents and the city website provides a good list of what they do and do NOT recycle, as well as guidelines for the curbside pickups (no styrofoam or cereal boxes). If you do not have pickups, there are 14 recycling "drop-off" centers around the city that will also take glass. Ifyou have a business, there is a good list of recyclers that will take computers, car batteries, oil, etc. We were surprised to learn that many large companies now have their very own inhouse Sustainability Manager, responsible for both energy conservation and recycling. Times...they are a changin'.
Did you know that you can take your plastic or grocery bags back to any Wal-Mart, Smiths, Raleys or Albertsons? (I took a Home Depot (plastic) bag into Walgreens and they were delighted to reuse it for my purchases.) UPS will take all those styrofoam "peanuts". About.com also has a good article on the "paper or plastic" decision. In a nutshell, plastic does not biodegrade for a very long time and then becomes toxic to our soil...not a good choice. See these photos and excellent information to get an idea of the problem. This video link was sent from the Nob Hill Growers Association and I love it because it makes me laugh. Canvas Bags by Tim Minchin.
Soilutions Organics Recycling Facility in the South Valley will take your leaves,yard clippings, tree branches, and other green wastes and turn them into compost and mulch for a tipping fee of $4.00 a cubic yard for greenwaste material. You can pick up some rich organic soil for your garden or learn some permaculture techniques while you are there. (More about Soilutions in our sustainable food section.) ABQ will also pick up your green wastes two times a year (spring/fall) and turn it into mulch for our landscaped medians/parks (a notice usually appears in your water bill). Over 30% of our landfills are made up of recyclable green waste. Rio Rancho can take green wastes to Desert Rock (2600 Idalia).
Idea: Turn your green wastes or table scraps into a healthy garden by learning to compost on your own: watch a video (Lowes),or talk to expert Larry Kloepple at the Growers Market. Soilutions recommends vermiculture (also known as worm composting...using worms to make rich soil). Bernalillo County Extension Master Composting Classes are an educational opportunity as well.
Building Materials/Supplies - Run an ad, post on the CraigsList or just go to ReStore. ReStore (San Mateo/Coal) is a retail store which sells donated new and used building material, electrical fixtures, appliances, kitchen cabinets, and even dog houses at greatly reduced prices. ReStore is one of over 300 Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the country. They will even offer you a tax receipt for some items.
Redecorating? Besides good will or garage sales, you might try Furniture on Consignment at 701 Candelaria NE or Consignment Interiors at 5850 Eubank Blvd NE for those odd pieces that no longer work.
Try FreecycleABQ: You give away items you no longer need and can pick up items offered by others. Their mission: to connect people who have still-usable items with people who can put them to good use. Everything is FREE. (No bartering or trading, and no money exchanges.)
The three "R"s. Reduce,Reuse and Recycle. Albuquerque's (Waste) Processing Factory has recently been upgraded and sorts the recyclables by type. Our old newspaper is recycled into new newsprint used by The Albuquerque Journal. Recycled plastic is manufactured into shrink wrap and carpets, to name just a couple of products. Through recycling, more than 60 tons of garbage is saved from Albuquerque's landfill every day to be turned into something new. Also check out Zeri - NM and their sustainability/recycling projects.
A short list for you:
* Buy products that are recyclable, and whose packaging can be recycled.
* Avoid disposable products. Buy better quality ones, which have a longer life.
* Reduce the amount of waste you produce. Re-use what you can, and recycle the rest.
* Compost garden and vegetable waste.
More Ideas (Click on Tabs)
Eye Glasses ...
Drop them off at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, BJ’s Optical, the optical stores at Sears or Target, or the Lions Club. Refurbished glasses are delivered to developing countries.
Wait...safely clean off your data on your old hard drive before recycling!!!
Working monitors and CPU's (but hopelessly out of date) can be taken to Sandia Computers at 3625 Wyoming NE (332-7777).
Computer Corner - 4410 Menaul NE, Alb 881-2333, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org - When you recycle at Computer Corner, usable equipment is repaired and recycled into the community. What can’t be recycled is properly disposed of.
Albuquerque Recycling is a recycling center for recycling electronic scrap such as computers, monitors, printers, copiers, televisions and more. As a facility approved and certified through the New Mexico Environment Dept., we recycle in an environmentally safe method meeting all Federal, State and local laws, rules and regulations. All of the e-waste is processed at our Albuquerque facility and the components are sold only to U.S. recyclers to be incorporated into newly manufactured products. Computers and most electronics are accepted for free. There is a nominal disposal fee charged for televisions and for the old-style CRT computer monitors because of the lead contained in the glass. They believe that this is a small price to pay to divert these items from the landfill and to ensure that the lead is handled according to EPA guidelines. Located in Northeast Albuquerque in Journal Center 2, you'll find them at 3726 Hawkins St. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, (505) 990-3732
Cell Phones ...
T-Mobile provided recycle packaging to return older phones. Many others will do the same There are also many Kiosks that provide money back after scanning your phone's model.
Printer Cartridges ...
Office Depot will take used cartridges for recycling.
First, consider selling books to used bookstores or online at such sites as Amazon.com. Or donate them to libraries, thrift stores or the International Book Project (888-999-2665, www.intlbookproject.org).
A word about batteries. You know, the "AA" size that we can't seem to live without.. It is now okay to put them in the trash. Whew! It is reported (About.com) that the newer batteries today contain much less mercury than their older predecessors. The city web site also says to put them in the trash. If you want to save them up and recycle anyway, a Batteries Plus store (4000 San Mateo NE) will take them. Note: (We try to use rechargeables as much as possible but they need to be recycled at either Lowes or Batteries Are Us)
Medicines, Household or Personal Care Wastes, etc. ...
The city website has a list of what items can be safely disposed of and what items need special care. You can pour small amounts of certain items down drain with plenty of water while rinsing containers thoroughly before discarding, but you need to solidify some items with absorbent material (kitty litter, dirt) before discarding. Others, like drugs can be kept in their original container, adding cooking oil or water to solid drugs before recapping. Double bag, then put in trash. This will keep our water supply clean and safe.
Phone Books ...
Want to recyle your phone books? Because phone books are made of paper, their pages are 100 percent recyclable. However, magnets and other contaminants inside the directory and spines might make them difficult to recycle. It is best to check your local guidelines for recycling to ensure you have prepped your phone book properly before tossing it in a bin. To opt out of phone book deliveries, check out the Dex site or go to Earth911 for recycling.
Be CREATIVE and we can make a difference.
PLEASE be a part of the solution. mysuggestions@sustainableabq