Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I recycle?
Recycling is a valuable practice for communities because recyclables have value. Materials can be sold for profit and can generate a cost saving by avoiding tipping fees at the landfill. Recycling creates jobs many times as the materials move through our economy. Using recycled materials to create new products saves energy and money.
Why can't I put out all my recycling into one container?
Source separated programs are simple and cost effective for small and rural communities. A little effort by the consumer goes a long way in helping to bring a recycling program to a small community.
Do I have to wash recyclables?
Have you ever smelled 10 cubic yards of week old, un-rinsed milk jugs in July? Probably not, but my employees do. Please help us out.
Do I have to remove lids?
Removing lids helps the bottles to compress at the time of baling and reminds you to empty the bottle before recycling. It also helps us keep the recycling center cleaner.
This plastic tub has a #1 on it. Why can't I recycle it with the bottles?
Tubs and bottles are created in different ways, using different chemicals, therefore; they must be recycled separately. Most recycling programs in New Mexico, only accept bottles with a neck and a screw top.
I know it isn't on the sign, but can't I just put it in there anyway?
When items are put in the recycle containers that don't belong there they must be removed before we can bale the product. This costs the county time and money sorting the items out that don't belong. This is your tax dollars at work.
Why Can't I put any "plastic" in the recycling container?
The market that we sell our plastic to only accept #1 & #2 plastic bottles with a neck. Plastic #1 & #2 are the most common plastics recycled, and bring the most profit when baled separately.
Where are the recycling numbers located?
On the bottom of plastic bottles, you will find a small number inside a triangle of arrows. It may be easier for you to just remember which of the common items in your household are recyclable, for example, soda bottles are a #1 and laundry detergent, milk jugs, dish soap and shampoo bottles are #2. Some vitamin and pill bottles are #2.
Why can' I recycle non-corrugated cartons (cereal, soda and beer cartons) with cardboard?
Boxboard and cartons are very different material than corrugated cardboard, as they are mostly glue. Mills that make cardboard from recycled stock need clean, non-waxed corrugated cardboard. Nothing else will do.
The sign says "Plastic Bottles" but I see aluminum cans in there. Can I put cans in there too?
At the collection center it is best to follow the signs than to follow the last recycler.
Where can I recycle in Otero County?
All our locations are listed on this website.
If I can't recycle it here, where can I recycle it?
Many big box stores are stepping up to recycle plastic bags, ink cartridges, rechargeable batteries and electronics. The New Mexico Recycling Coalition hosts a "Recycling Directory" on their website recyclenewmexico.com. Look up recycling services by material type and County.
How can I help?
The best way to help is by recycling, reusing, and reducing. Educate yourself about the recycling services in your area and help others to find those services, too. Remember to ROC (Recycle Otero County).