Cover, July 30: “Shattered”
Here and There
After 10 years in Santa Fe, we recently moved to Tucson. We were delighted to see how much easier recycling is here. They do have single-stream recycling with large covered bins and pick-up trucks with the robot arms, just like the garbage trucks. I don't know what the recycling rate is here, but I know that everyone on our street does it, and on pickup day I see the blue recycling bins out by the curb all over the city.
The system of sorting and bundling is out of date in Santa Fe. Let me promote freecycle.org. Santa Fe has a chapter; this is where you can post stuff to give away and keep it out of the landfill.
Cardie K Molina
I think I'm the only person in my neighborhood who puts out recycling bins. I wonder if other folks even know how the whole thing works. I had to go across town to get my recycling bins—not exactly a user-friendly system. A few weeks of outreach to make sure everyone has bins and knows how to use them might go a long way. I suppose there would still be people who would refuse to recycle (militant anti-environmentalists?). But I really think it's more about people not knowing what to do.
Fix the Broken
It's obvious why our recycling rate is lame: The program is inconvenient, and the public has no confidence that the items they recycle will actually be recycled. I refuse to recycle in Santa Fe until the program is fixed; doing so would only support and perpetuate a broken system.
It's obvious how to fix it. Go to single stream. Provide wheeled bins that are picked up in the same place as the trash bins (they pick up my trash right in front of my house, I have to carry the bins 100 yards out to the main street), and implement processes that give the citizens confidence that the material is actually being recycled.
Are you kidding me, "apply for a medical certificate and sign a waiver of liability"? For some, this might be a necessity, but for most of us, if the city would provide a bin that was covered and easy to get to the curb (wheels), that would be an easy solution. Not everyone can lift a full recycle bin; not all of us have a place to put these bins where they won't get wet. The second issue I see is the "Curbside Guide"—too complicated. You need to make this easy if you want people to get in the habit of recycling.
As for the city raising the rates, I ask why is that necessary if you have so little participation in the recycle program. If you had a 100 percent or even 75 percent participation then perhaps, but you don't.
You Missed a Spot
Agree, prehistoric system. Spent the whole week recycling, only to find that it was left behind by the truck! No idea what I did wrong. I just dumped it all in the garbage for the follow week. True story. Now I don't dare.
This article is long overdue. A city like Santa Fe should be way ahead in recycling and instead this town is barely able to do it at all. Embarrassing.
News, July 30: “Free Farmin’”
The Gray Way
Graywater is key; capture water from washing and the sinks into short-term storage tanks, use biodegrable cleaners, use that water to irrigate. The black water takes the usual trip to the turd herders' rodeo west of NM 599.
Cover, July 23: “Sold Out”
You'll feel like taking a shower after reading this piece. "Toilet sewage" is a fair description of Sen. Phil Griego. Some highlights of his arrangement to sell a historic building to a friend at a steal:
"[Griego] won't reveal how much he earned on his commission. "'That's private,' says Griego." And, "Griego is also unapologetic about the deal 'unless you want to pass a constitutional amendment to pay lawmakers.'"
Plus, it would've passed anyway: "'Had I not voted on it, it would have been 32-3. My vote would have made no difference at all.'"
Except it was Griego who initiated the sale in the first place: "[Another senator] said he'd only agreed to carry the resolution for Griego after [Griego] approached him last fall. 'He told me he didn't have time to spend on it himself,' [and] asked [me] to help...get the legislative process going by sponsoring the resolution."
Griego's "but-she-said-that-she-was-18" defense: "But Griego says any allegations around this deal are unfounded because he wasn't looking for a payday when he first started to monitor the legislation."
Busted: "[However] Griego readily admits he'd been monitoring the potential sale for his friend...for more than a year."
"It's not the first time we've been misled," [said another senator.]
Ain't that an understatement.
This is an interesting, smoking-gun article you won't find in the New Mexican. Thank you. Too bad you were too soft on Ira Seret.
This downtown property mogul is underhanded; so it's no surprise that he may be in cahoots with Griego. This is his MO, and he's used the Reporter as camouflage. In the future, please expose all rats equally.
Santa Fe's recycling rate of 8.4 percent is half the state's reported average rate for 2012. A story in last week's edition gave the wrong year.
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