Re­cy­cling ‘made easy’ in Taos

The Taos News - - BUSINESS - By Jesse Moya jmoya@taos­ con­scious­

A group of Taos en­trepreneurs are mak­ing re­cy­cling eas­ier for the com­mu­nity and will even drive up and col­lect it off your porch.

Con­scious Taos opened re­cently as a new way for com­mu­nity mem­bers to get their re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als out of the house.

For sev­eral years, com­mu­nity mem­bers have had to drive their ma­te­ri­als to a cen­ter, ei­ther in the county or town, and de­posit them in sort­ing bins. This can be a chal­lenge for some in the area who live a bit far or have mo­bil­ity is­sues, in­hibit­ing them from re­cy­cling, so Con­scious Taos has stepped in to lend a hand to re­cy­clers in the county.

“I think peo­ple would re­cy­cle a lot more if it were eas­ier,” said the com­pany’s mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Rob Hurst.

Hurst, along with a team of en­trepreneurs, de­cided curb­side re­cy­cling col­lec­tion was a need in Taos. They were sur­prised no such ser­vice was al­ready present. Most of the team spent some years in Colorado where res­i­dents of­ten have the op­tion of curb­side re­cy­cling pick up pro­vided by their solid waste com­pa­nies.

Taos has the town re­cy­cling cen­ter and sev­eral trans­fer sta­tions through­out the county where re­cy­cling can be dropped off, but res­i­dents in the area have to drive to the cen­ters with a car­load of ma­te­ri­als. Con­scious Taos is mak­ing it so that all a cus­tomer has to do is load up the 18-gal­lon bins pro­vided with the signup fee and place them out­side their home Mon­day through Wed­nes­day.

“I can just walk the bin out to the road, and I don’t have to drive all the way into town,” said cus­tomer Ilam Shamir. “I didn’t un­der­stand why Taos didn’t have that when so many cities do.”

Con­scious Taos will be col­lect­ing a mul­ti­tude of re­cy­clables from plas­tics to alu­minum and will be col­lect­ing them, rinsed, but un­sorted.

Part of the group’s mis­sion is to in­form the com­mu­nity that many of the things thrown away can, in fact, be re­cy­cled. “We want to be able to help peo­ple be more in­formed about what to re­cy­cle,” said Slader Brown from Con­scious Taos.

On their web­site, Con­scious Taos es­ti­mates that 75 per­cent of waste can be re­cy­cled, and they have posted guides as to what they will be col­lect­ing. All types of plas­tic and cans are wel­come, but at the mo­ment no glass will be re­cy­cled by the group.

“It’s just not a very eco­nom­i­cal ma­te­rial to trans­port,” said Brown.

The group will be charg­ing $300 per year for col­lec­tion fees as well as a $30 startup fee. Cus­tomers who wish to pay monthly will have a $30 col­lec­tion fee. While the price may be too high for some, Shamir sug­gested team­ing up with a neigh­bor­ing house­hold to share the costs if nec­es­sary.

With their 14-foot trailer, Con­scious Taos will be driv­ing through sev­eral Taos County lo­ca­tions for pick­ups and tak­ing their un­sorted ma­te­ri­als to a fa­cil­ity in Al­bu­querque where they will be pay­ing to have it un­loaded for trans­port. Be­fore plac­ing re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als in their bins, Con­scious Taos is en­cour­ag­ing their cus­tomers, and fu­ture cus­tomers, to wash their ma­te­ri­als. Ac­cord­ing to the group, re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als may not be re­cy­cled if they have a sticky food or drink residue left on them and are hop­ing every­one who re­cy­cles any ma­te­ri­als any­where fol­lows the same wash­ing pro­to­col.

Con­tact Con­scious Taos at

Cour­tesy photo

Con­scious Taos will be driv­ing around neigh­bor­hoods col­lect­ing their cus­tomers’ re­cy­cled goods for trans­port. Col­lec­tion ser­vice costs about $30 per month.

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