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Courtesy photo

A line of dumpsters overflow with both trash and recyclables this month in Taos.

Anyone interested in the council meeting scheduled next week on Oct. 19 should register and get other information on taoscounty.org.

Details of what is happening are vague and undecided, but it appears that the county has to get the backing of the town to continue or nothing will happen any time soon. The rumors about having a recycling center near the dump are not true. A new building there has been allocated to be used as office space for employees involved in trash collection, and there will be a large area in that building set up as a mechanical repair facility for vehicles used in transporting trash and fixing other equipment. A general recycling facility will not be located near the dump.

I have done some research. It is obvious that if anything is to be done soon, it will have to include the old recycling facility. Because the town closed it, there needs to be an agreement with the county on opening it and on how it might work as a temporary or permanent solution.

Recycling is not profitable and does not support itself. The county has hired an expert to do a study and it seems that they have decided that $21 will be the yearly charge per household and it would be separate from the solid waste charge. There is also a plan in the works to get business owners, generous individuals, and surrounding towns and villages to contribute a substantial amount of money to a fund that would be pledged in the form of a sponsorship to facilitate the reopening of the center as soon as possible.

That plan seems rather unusual and impractical because it does not seem to include the the formality that government finance usually should have to ensure proper protocol.

In the meantime, it is suggested that residents of the area either stockpile all their recycling until the county and town get together and solve this issue, or people should take their recyclables to other places in the area that may accept our residential trash.

Santa Fe recycling has offered to take residential waste at their facilities. One of those places is on Agua Fria. Check for hours and other locations on their web site. As winter approaches, this sounds impractical and almost impossible to imagine how it will solve anything.

Are many people willing to travel to Santa Fe in the cold weather, snow and mud with a car full of trash?

The county and town must do better to try to solve this challenge or the winter is going to feel very long.

Marilynn Nicholson lives in Taos.

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