Santa Fe County is hoping to revamp its solid waste program to encourage recycling and make waste disposal more cost-effective.

Currently, county residents living outside the city of Santa Fe buy punch passes to use at the county's seven waste transfer stations, and end up trashing many of their recyclables because of a lack of incentive to do otherwise. The county is considering developing a solid waste pickup program that would also pick up recyclables, which would be redeemable to partly defray the operation's costs.

The program would cost less than private trash haulers currently used by many county residents, County Commissioner Kathy Holian tells SFR.

County residents would pay $20 a month for the service. In the long term, the county would also like to install vehicle scales at the transfer stations to allow them to charge by weight for trash, while recycling would be free.

In addition to environmental and cost-saving factors, the plan would also extend the life of Santa Fe's landfill by keeping more recyclables out of it, Holian says.