Business

Recycling 'made easy' in Taos

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 10/5/18

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 …

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Business

Recycling 'made easy' in Taos

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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 conscioustaos.com.

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