GWE Kids Want to Why We Aren’t Recycling Glass
On May 17, 2017, some of the GWEers from Acequia Madre School were invited to meet with Mayor Gonzales. They had written some letters to him, a few weeks before, when the City announced that it was discontinuing picking up glass. The GWE kids were not very pleased that the glass from their homes could not be picked up and they wanted to find out if there was a way for them to help glass get picked up curbside to be recycled. They asked the Mayor for a meeting and he invited them to come to talk. Here they are in his office:
The meeting was held in a conference room and also in attendance were Adam Schlachter, Public Outreach, Environmental Services Department, and Shirlene Sitton, Director, Environmental Services Department. Adam and Shirlene are in charge of all of the recycling in the city. Shirlene drew diagrams on a white board and explained what happens when our glass and other recycling gets picked up from the curb.
The New Reality For Glass
The GWEers learned that glass is not a commodity product that is worth anything to recyclers in New Mexico and Colorado and that it has actually NEVER been recycled here in Santa Fe!
Until recently, it was collected from our homes and crushed into tiny glass bits to be used at the landfill. Now that Shirlene has moved here to Santa Fe from Texas, and has helped us to get big recycling carts, instead of small bins, we do not have people to pick up our recycling from the curb, but trucks with robotic arms. They do a great job of picking up our mixed recycling, but those trucks cannot pick up our glass separately. It turns out, that, since we all got the big recycling carts, the recycling rate in Santa Fe has gone up quite a bit!
We are still left with the problem of moving everyone’s glass and getting it recycled, but, as the school year closes out for 2016/17, we are looking ahead to what brainstorms the GWEers will come up with NEXT Year!
Ice Cream Helps Everything!
After the big meeting, everyone needed a bit of a snack, so we all headed out for ice cream. The Acequia Kids had all been given a reusable bag from the city, full of cool gifts. One- a tiny recycling cart holds ice cream for Ruby and Asha 🙂