Recycling center reopens Saturdays

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By Margaret McKinney
Highlands University

The New Mexico Highlands University Recycling Center has reopened on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is also open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The recycling center has received heavy use since the university opened it to the public and campus community in November 2010. The center is at Ninth and Reynolds, west of the university’s Wilson Complex and behind the tennis courts parking lot.

The university recently added tin to the list of recyclables it accepts at the center. Other recyclables accepted include aluminum, mixed paper, cardboard, glass, and plastics 1 and 2, such as water and soft drink bottles and milk jugs. (For other plastic containers, check the recycling symbol on the bottom of the item.)

The center will not accept items like stoves, refrigerators, mattresses, tires, electronics, batteries, motor oil or paint. The university can’t recycle them.

“The word is out and people are using the center in increasing numbers,” said Ira Harge, the university’s part-time recycling coordinator. “We’re seeing especially high volume for plastic, paper and glass. Our roll-off containers for these recyclables are now all 30-feet long. They are filling up so fast that our recycling hauler comes once a month to pick them up rather than every other month.”

Jorden Grimm, the Capital Projects Manager in Facility Services who oversees the recycling program, said it’s important that recyclables be sorted because processing plants reject loads where materials are mixed.

Grimm said the university is working with community service organizations to help out at the center, especially on weekends. He said volunteers are also needed. Groups and individuals interested in volunteering may contact Grimm at recycle@nmhu.edu or 505-454-3491.

Those interested in donating to the university’s recycling program may also contact Grimm.

When the recycling center opened in November, heavy use filled the bins faster than they could be emptied with existing manpower. In February, the university temporarily scaled back operational hours until weekend help could be found.This semester the university also added a second work study student to work in the recycling program.

In August 2009, Highlands launched a recycling program. The campus recycling demand was so high that the university built a recycling center and opened it to the public.