The glass recycling bin set up late last year in the Village Office complex parking lot has been a hit. More than 3.7 tons of glass have been diverted from the landfill, Fire Chief Anthony Martinez reported February 24. “The mayor had a lot of requests to start a glass recycling program, and it has been a big success,” he said. “There was a huge demand for it, but we didn’t have a place to accept that glass.”
Village government does not earn any revenue for recycling glass, so the program operates at a small loss. Road Runner Waste Service, which supplied the dumpster to receive the glass, charges the Village a small fee to haul it to the City of Albuquerque’s glass recycling facility which also charges a small dump fee.
The fire chief said the program is operating smoothly, and that people no longer dump non-glass trash in the recycle dumpster. Caps and lids on bottles and jars has not been a hindrance, he added. But contributors should note that no bags of any kind, paper or plastic, containing the glass should be placed in the dumpster —just glass.
Chief Martinez noted that the glass bin is where Corrales’ first recycling effort began about 30 years ago. “The first recycling bin was outside where the Fire Department was back then, so we’ve come back full circle.”
That earliest recycling program in Corrales was a pet project of then-Villager Clerk Carol Brown. It suffered from people from Corrales or elsewhere throwing trash and debris of all sorts into the recycle bin. Fast-forward a couple of decades and a volunteer-staffed recycle center was set up on vacant land behind the new fire station farther north on Corrales Road.
For years it was well-managed and produced a meager profit from selling materials for which there was a sustained demand. Even so, estimates indicated that only a small percentage of villagers participated. Eventually the mayor and Village Council opted to have the contracted garbage collector provide roadside recycling as well, which led to closing the recycling center behind the fire station in 2014.