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Sunday, Dec 08th

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Dear Editor,

In recent months, the consideration for obtaining curbside recycling has continued.

Currently, the city of Gallup has started staffing the recycling drop off centers with expanded hours. This has made recycling in Gallup more convenient to the public and is  a positive step. The August non-binding referendum saw a favorable vote for curbside recycling with an added fee tacked on to their monthly utility bill.

McKinley Citizens’ Recycling Council continues to educate the public on the value of curbside residential recycling and has initiated a petition drive to place a binding commitment on curbside recycling on the March 2017 ballot.

This petition is for placing an ordinance where the city will institute dual-stream curbside recycling with all costs to be borne from the Environmental Tax Fund. Dual-stream recycling is where each resident will sort recycling into two bins, one for cardboard and the second for other recyclables, such as paper, plastic, tin, aluminum.  Dual-stream recycling is more beneficial in collecting recyclables because of lower levels of contamination. Thereby, a higher quality of recyclables will be collected — a higher quality product is more marketable.

Our petition calls for a separation of corrugated cardboard from other recycled items because it is currently the most valuable.

Bio-PAPPEL, in Prewitt, takes old corrugated cardboard collected in Gallup-McKinley County and re-uses it to make new corrugated cardboard, thereby diverting a high volume of material from the Red Rocks landfill, saving the city transportation and tipping fees.

The petition requires the city pay for the implementation of the residential curbside program from the Environmental Tax Fund. The fund is the result of a 4 percent surcharge on monthly city utility bills.

Though many city residents are willing to pay an additional fee for the convenience of curbside recycling, the stated concern by some city officials that an additional fee would cause hardship on some city residents would be moot with the program cost covered by the Environmental Tax Fund.

The reduction of solid waste from the regional landfill, fostering a sustainable community, preserving our planet by conserving natural resources — these are environmental issues.

Visit recyclegallup.org for more information.

Shafiq Chaudhary

McKinley Citizens’ Recycling Council, Gallup