I am going to ask you guys for your advice with this post. We moved here to Taos, NM, a little while ago and while the town claims to be very progressive, even proclaiming to be a “Fair-Trade Town”, they have a major Achilles’ Heel – They do not recycle any plastic at all. Nothing. Not even a soda bottle’s worth. This is a big problem for us and I am sure for many other families in town here, but nothing seems to be in progress to remedy it. This is going to be a huge project (and pet peeve of mine), I imagine!
At this point, it looks like I only have one option to get any plastics recycled: sneak it into our friend’s recycling down in Santa Fe, as at least they have seen the light when it comes to how important recycling is! While Taos does recycle some paper and some aluminum (but not all of it, i.e. cereal boxes), any plastics I have to bag separately and keep in the garage until we head down the hill to Santa Fe. We don’t buy many products in plastic other than OJ, yogurt, and my wife’s bathroom supplies, they still add up over time. And we do not feel comfortable just throwing in the trash to be buried in the earth here in town. It’s just not right, but it is our only option right now.
While I am going to work to try to get the town to see the light on plastic recycling, I have a few other things I want to try as well if at all possible:
1. Do a deal with Terracycle so they get the entire town’s plastic soda bottles. Terracycle uses these bottles to package their own cleaning supplies, plant food, bird seed, etc – so that no new plastic is used for their packaging. (Look for a review here in a few weeks, as they sent me some sample products.) On their website, they say they aren’t in need of more bottles, but maybe I can talk them into doing some kind of deal.
2. Set up something where people get gift cards or even cash for turning in plastic recyclables. Maybe get local businesses to step up and give gift cards, or get a big business or two to give some money to get a program started. Not sure how that would work, but money always encourages people to do the right thing. (fortunately and unfortunately)
A few years back someone started a petition online to get the town to recycle (and there is one available right now for a ban of plastic bags, which is great), but I guess it did not work out. So it almost looks like the town is not interested in changing, and any efforts will have to come from the community. Maybe some of the ideas above will work, but this is where I need your help: Do you have any ideas on how to move forward with getting a town to recycle? Anyone know of any groups or individuals who have made these type of changes? If you have any advice or ideas, I would love to hear them!