Recycling program started
Portales resident Geni Flores said she felt a sense of relief when she found out the days of lugging boxes of plastic and newsprint to cities such as Albuquerque, Roswell and Clovis are over.
Flores, coordinator of bilingual education at Eastern New Mexico University, will continue to keep her efforts strong to recycle but fortunately she won’t have to leave her backyard anymore.
Portales was awarded a grant worth $4,000 from the New Mexico Environment Department’s Solid Waste Bureau to implement its first recycling program.
The grant covers two large recycling bins, which will be located at the city’s Convenience Center and Recreation Center. The bins will collect plastic, cardboard, and newspaper.
The recyclables will then be transferred to Clovis to its recycling center.
Jamie Rose, assistant to the Portales city manager, is the author of the grant. Rose said she brought it before the city council to get the application approved before it was submitted and it was well-received by the city’s leaders.
“We’ll start simple and see how it goes and if we can expand, we’ll expand,” Rose said.
She added that in addition to the grant money received, the city’s administration hopes to save in travel costs since the recycling bins are larger and will be transported less frequently working with larger loads.
The recycling program should start some time this summer and the bins will also be open to Roosevelt County residents for use, according to Rose. The program will fall under the Public Works Department umbrella.
“I believe this program will be beneficial because it shows that the city is going into a greener direction and we are being more environmentally conscious,” Rose said.
Rose said with Portales being a transient community with the inclusion of Eastern New Mexico University and Cannon Air Force Base, citizens have voiced their desires for such a program.
“They want to continue (recycling) in a small town,” Rose said. “Though it’s a small step, it’s moving forward and we’re listening to the needs of our citizens. We want enhance their lifestyle.”
Portales Mayor Sharon King said since she was elected, citizens have asked for a recycling program. She saw the grant as the perfect opportunity to start one.
“I’m thrilled,” King said. “We’ve got lots of folks that wanted to do that.”
Flores said she was one of those citizens waiting for a recycling program.
“This, for us, will be a relief and will make us feel a little better that Portales is doing the right thing,” Flores said. “This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time...This is good news.”