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Our View: No glass recycling? Then at least don't trash your cardboard

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By The Staff

Los Alamos County is making great, big, verdant strides toward collecting and safely disposing of household wastes. We hope these steps stand as a sign of more conservation and recycling efforts to come – both from the county and its residents.The county’s Solid Waste Division is well on its way toward building collection stations for motor oil, antifreeze, paints, fluorescent tubes and other difficult-to-dispose-of household items. The main Eco Station will also be LEED-certified, relying on solar power to cut back on energy use.The Eco Station follows on the heels – or wheels – of the county’s roll-cart program, wherein the county delivered large, blue, roll-cart recycling bins to residents.In the first few months of the program, the Solid Waste Division reported more than 66 additional tons of material recycled – that’s 66 fewer tons in the landfills.We recycle cardboard, even the glossy stuff; tin and aluminum cans, magazines, catalogs and newspapers; white and colored paper; and plastic #1 and #2 bottles, with annual curbside totals reaching 1,300 tons.If we want to recycle glass, we have to go to the transfer station in Santa Fe – although technically, more stockpiling than recycling is happening down there, said Solid Waste Division Manager Regina Wheeler in a recent conversation.Although many on the Hill have complained about not having a local outlet for their glass items, we think a more proactive strategy would be to make sure we each recycle the items we can.Wheeler said county staff finds tons – literally – of items in the green trash bins that can go in the blue recycle bins, including cardboard, paper, and #1 and #2 plastic bottles, all of which decompose in a much messier fashion than glass and ultimately pose more of a threat to the environment.Use your bins! And if you really want to make an Earth-friendly difference, encourage your local business owners to make a blue bin available for their employees and customers.More than a dozen businesses in town – including the Monitor – recycle, and that’s pretty good, but we can do better, even without recycling glass.