A $10,000 grant for office recycling containers will put the city of Tucumcari in green mode.
The grant to Tucumcari was one of 10 grants, totaling $260,000, awarded by the New Mexico Environment Department to communities and pueblos. The money is to be used for recycling and illegal dumping reduction initiatives, according to a department release.
With the city setting the example, "We're hoping residents will jump on the bandwagon and start recycling as well," said Yvette Fazekas, project coordinator for the city's Community Development department.
While the city has an informal program now, mostly initiated by individual employees who collect and take recyclables to a recycler, the containers will be placed in major city offices such as City Hall on Center Street and the Development Department on Eighth Street, Fazekas said.
The grant will enabled the city to purchase about 15 containers which will accommodate different items, such as mixed paper, plastic and other items, Fazekas said. Many of the city's documents are shredded before they are recycled because some may contain personal information about residents, Fazekas said.
Because it’s a pilot program the city does not have any numbers yet to determine how much it will save in dollars by diverting trash from the landfill, Fazekas said.
The city hoped it would get a $20,000 grant to enable it to place a multi-recyclables container, which costs about $19,000, in the community, said Fazekas, adding that the city plans to apply for another grant which it hopes will provide funds for a larger container.
The science club at Tucumcari High School started a recycling program and a large multi-recyclable container is in the THS parking lot, similar to what the city hopes to purchase in the future, Fazekas said.
The city's office recycling project is expected to get underway in the fall, following acceptance of the grant funds, approval by the city and purchase of the containers, Fazekas said.