The Town of Taos Council has voted unanimously to reopen the recycling center on Bertha Street as part of an “eight-point intermediate and long-term plan for sustainable, community wide recycling.” After the center was shut by the Taos Regional Landfill Board on Sept. 10, it seemed as if the town, which owns the property, was intent on keeping the center closed for good. Town Manager Rick Bellis cited the low diversion rate of just 7.6 percent as reason to keep the center closed, along with the financial burden of keeping it going.

Bellis had stated in a previous email that the town had no intention of reopening the center, and he recommended to council that it be used for storage. The town management appears to have changed direction since then, deciding to to reopen the recycling center in their expanded eight-point plan.

Along with reopening the center, the plan includes an outline that supports the national Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act; a goal for additional state-level plastic and recycling regulations; continued “green waste” recycling at the landfill (refrigerators, washing machines, tires, etc.); incentivizing the private recycling sector; creating a regional community recycling board; regulating single-use disposables; and focusing on public education.

In order to fund the re-opening of the center, the town plans to use approximately six to seven months of reserves of the former 75-cent recycling fee. However, the recycling center isn’t looking toward an immediate opening. Because of the upcoming holiday season and the amount of time it takes to train individuals to run the center, Bellis said the goal is to be open by June 30, 2022.

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Author: Will Hooper, Taos News
Image: Taos News