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First News Spring 2005

Why Recycle?

   Recycling saves trees, protects wildlife habitat, reduces the use of toxic chemicals, curbs global warming, decreases water pollution, and reduces the need for landfills and incinerators. There can also be a profit in selling recyclables and buying recycled products, which contributes to the demand for more recyclables.

The top ten reasons to recycle and purchase recycled products: 
1. Recycling paper products saves trees.
Recycling a four-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree.
2. Recycling protects wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Using recycled materials reduces the need to chop down, extract, process, refine and transport our natural resources such as timber, crude petroleum and mineral ores. As a result, destruction of forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife is also reduced.
3. Recycling lowers the use of toxic chemicals. Making products from already refined waste materials reduces, and often eliminates, the need for manufacturers to use toxic chemicals that are essential when using virgin materials.
4. Recycling helps curb global warming. Using recycled materials cuts down on energy used in the manufacturing process thereby reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. For example, recycling one ton of glass results in energy savings of more than 300% and lowers carbon dioxide emissions by 3.46 tons.
5. Recycling stems the flow of water pollution. Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials. Turning trees into paper uses more water than any other industrial process, dumping billions of gallons of wastewater, contaminated with pollutants, into rivers, lakes and streams. Paper recycling mills don't pollute the water nearly as much, and most likely uses less of it. In addition, some recycling plants use treated wastewater for the manufacturing process.
6. Recycling reduces the need for landfills. Toxic pollution from landfills including cyanide, dioxins, mercury, sulfuric acid and lead escapes into the air and eventually leaches into groundwater.
7. Recycling reduces the need for incinerators. Often located in urban neighborhoods, municipal waste incinerators spew out air pollutants and produce contaminated ash that threatens the health of nearby residents. By recycling paper, glass, plastic and metal, incinerators pollute less and reduce harmful emissions.
8. Recycling creates jobs and promotes economic development. A recent study by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission found that recycling added about $18.5 billion in value to the economies of 12 southern states and Puerto Rico in 1995. A recycled newsprint mill in the Bronx, New York started by Natural Resources Defense Council and a local community group created 600 permanent jobs, and cleaned up an industrial site abandoned for a quarter century.
9. Cities may profit by selling recyclables. While landfills are expensive operations, cities with high recycling rates often make money by selling recyclables when market conditions are favorable.
10. Buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products. This will save even more resources, reduce pollution and protect human health, and as the size of this market grows, prices for recycled products will drop.
Source: this information was taken from the Natural Resources Defense Council web site at, and

Local recycling reduces costs for both the county and its residents. Ray Lariviere of SE & East Central Recycling Association says that the costs vary for each community, depending on who owns and maintains the landfill in the area, but generally speaking, the cost of their recycling program usually runs about $5.00 per ton while collection and disposal in a landfill normally cost between $12.00 and $20.00 per ton.
What can I recycle, and where are the drop off sites?
In Trinidad, bins in the Big R parking lot accept magazines, catalogs and newspaper, cardboard, and aluminum cans. This site is maintained by US Disposal and Recycling. Also, the Las Animas County Rehabilitation Center at 1205 Congress Drive accepts aluminum cans. If you would like to have glass and tin can recycling in Trinidad, please contact Elizabeth at (719) 680-1441 or email She is in the process of collecting names to encourage the city of Trinidad to increase its local recycling services. In Walsenburg, SE & East Central Recycling Association provides bins next to city hall accepting office paper, glass (clear, green, brown), newspaper, magazines, paper, aluminum and tin cans. In Raton, bins for cardboard and numbers 1&2 plastics are located in the city parking lot on First Street by the railroad station. White office paper can be dropped off at the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Train office on First Street and at the courthouse. Aluminum cans can be taken to CDD on E. Fourth Avenue and All Saints Catholic School. The local PTA is recycling ink cartridges and old cell phones at Raton Public Schools and All Saints Catholic School. Raton Residents for Recycling hope to add newspaper recycling in the near future. For a detailed list of recycle items and drop off locations, please visit the public library.


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