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2011 NM Recycling Awareness Month - Recycle New Mexico
New Mexico Recycling Awareness Month (NMRAM) is a state-wide annual event created to promote recycling, waste reduction, composting and buying recycled products. It is held in conjunction with the nationwide America Recycles Day campaign on November 15th. 

Recycle New Mexico is a year-round education and outreach program that includes New Mexico Recycling Awareness Month (November) and America Recycles Day activities and supports targeted community education campaigns.  The proposed 2011 campaign targets are home to the state’s six new collection centers (scheduled to open in the fall of 2011): Deming, Torrance County, Otero County, Gallup, Truth or Consequences and Raton. 

Recycle  New Mexico is part of NMRC’s broader mission of, “leading New Mexico to value waste as a resource,” and its goal of bringing the state’s recycling rate up to the national average of 33% by the year 2012 (currently New Mexico falls well below the national recycling average and has a recycling rate of 14%).  NMRC believes that the time is ripe to increase the state’s recycling rate as New Mexico has had the good fortune of receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to build the infrastructure.  The next logical step is to let residents know how, why and where to recycle.  This is best achieved through community-based, grassroots education campaigns strategically tailored for each of the target community’s specific needs.

I Recycle, Do You? Get Involved

Help us make recycling work in America.

More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs in the United States. One day to inform and educate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better-365 days a year. Let's make recycling work in our communities.

Get Involved:

Organize an event

To register for NMRAM, click on the "Organize an Event" link above. ln an effort to streamline registration processes and provide recycling coordinators and schools with the promotional materials that best suits their needs, we're combining efforts with Keep America Beautiful's America Recycles Day online registration. The above registration link also registers you in NMRAM.



2011 Recycle New Mexico
We offer support to November Recycling Awareness events in schools and in communities. Events include municipal-sponsored recycling drives, public awareness events at malls and stores, and employee education in private business and federal facilities. Last year 37 communities and schools held an educational event at either a school or public arena in New Mexico. We also continued our targeted outreach with a Get Caught Recycling incentives-based awareness campaign in Las Cruces campaign. The 2011 NMRAM targeted outreach campaign focuses on Deming, Truth or Consequences, Gallup, Raton, Otero County and Torrance County.

Recycle New Mexico Sponsorship Opportunities
Click here to register as an NMRAM sponsor or pay for sponsorships with a credit card.


Thank you to our generous Recycle New Mexico sponsors:











Livingry Fund at Tides Foundation






1) How to Start a School or Business Recycling Program (.pdf)

2) Reducing Waste and Buying Recycled in Schools (.pdf)

3) NMRC can produce & print customized, color recycling outreach brochures for eligible communities through its Department of Energy American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant. To see if your community is eligble, confirm that they're on the eligible community list by clicking here. If you are representing an eligble community, please fill out the brochure request form (.pdf)

4) Recycling Fact Sheet - This customizable fact sheet is meant to be printed double sided on a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and cut in half to create two 5.5" x 8.5" double sided flyers. The sheet discusses the What, Why, Where and Hows of recycling and can be customized for your community.

5) Recycling Presentations

6) Collection Signs for Special Events, Schools, Offices, Recycling Drives, etc (.pdf) If you use these collection signs, please email Sarah Pierpont at so we can track where the signs are being used.

7) America Recycling pledge cards (which will not be a sweepstakes with prizes this year). Find online at

8) Download NMRC's new Recycling Brochure with general information on how and why to recycle in New Mexico - Recycling Brochure(.pdf)


We also encourage NMRAM participants to ask their community, county, business or organization to make the 33% by 2012 commitment. more

NMRAM 2010 City of Las Cruces Get Caught Recycling Campaign

Las Cruces, which recently switched to single-stream recycling, was been selected as NMRC's target community for 2010 to provide outreach and education assistance. The campaign included multiple levels of targeted audiences to increase recycling, including a “Get Caught Recycling” incentives based campaign, print advertisement, public service announcements and utility bill inserts.   As a lead up to the November campaign, the Las Cruces Sun News published weekly articles about recycling in their “Recycling Connections” column.  fThe SCSWA reported that  November 2010 saw a 25% increase in tons of material recycled compared to November 2009. The campaign was a collaboration with the South Central Solid Waste Authority and the City of Las Cruces to cooperatively support these endeavors.


NASA White Sands Test Facility participated in the “Get Caught” campaign as well and            recognized and rewarded employees that  recycled at work. The Grand Prize winner of the "Get Caught" program won a trip for two to either Las Vegas, San Diego, New York or Chicago.



NMRAM 2009 Farmington & Navajo Nation Outreach and Awareness Campaign

NMRC selected Farmington as the targeted city to assist in increasing recycling awareness and participation through outreach and education assistance. Farmington is the state’s most recent city to launch curbside recycling (January 2009). Navajo Nation was also selected as a partner to help assist outreach development on recycling education.  NMRC provided recycling display booth materials and assisted in the design of a recycling awareness poster for Navajo Nation.  

NMRC partnered with the City of Farmington, Waste   Management,   Farmington Municipal School District and Keep Farmington Beautiful to launch a public awareness campaign that focused on increasing recycling via increased participation in the city’s curbside program.  Additionally, the campaign established outreach avenues that are sustainable year-round and involved multiple levels of targeted audiences to increase recycling, including the following.

School Recycling Launch
NMRC worked with Waste Management and the Farmington Municipal School District to launch recycling in the schools.  This included recycling in all 19 public schools and 5 support facilities.  School recycling kick-off included a friendly competition between all public schools to see which school could recycle the most material in one month. The winning school received a $500 donation generously donated by Waste           Management.  The program engendered such great participation that Waste Management switched the schools to weekly, as opposed to bi-weekly, collection and had to provide additional recycling carts to many of the schools.  Teachers reported that students were encouraging parents who had never recycled to recycle at home.

Recycling Promotional Materials
NMRC provided Farmington with a custom   Farmington Recycles logo used on all outreach and print materials, an informative event display outlining why recycling is important and a breakdown of what’s in American’s trash and a custom banner that was utilized during the City’s special trash and recycling  collection events.  Six advertisements ran in the Farmington Daily Times Newspaper during the month of November encouraging  residents to call Waste Management to receive their curbside recycling cart.  

Door Hangers & Recycling Labels Volunteers walked neighborhoods with low curbside program participation rates and put 5,000 door-hangers onto the handles of trash bins to residents that didn’t also have recycling bins.  The door-hangers encouraged residents to call to get their curbside recycling bin, noted what could be recycled curbside and outlined important reasons to recycle.  Volunteers also affixed over 1,200 8.5”x11” labels to existing recycling bins that included the Farmington Recycles logo and the number to call to participate.  This caused the curbside recycling bins to become advertisements of the program themselves.  Waste Management adopted the policy of placing the labels on all recycling bins prior to delivery. 

These efforts have helped to produce a nearly 50% participation rate in the City’s Curbside recycling program!

NMRAM 2008 Get Caught Recycling in Santa Fe
As part of the annual NMRAM campaign, NMRC selected Santa Fe for its 2008 targeted recycling awareness and education campaign with the incentives based, "Get Caught Recycling in Santa Fe" program.  Working in partnership with the City of Santa Fe Solid Waste Department and the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency, NMRC will reward Santa Feans for recycling.

The program will worked like this:  Residents were inspired to recycle more because they have heard about this reward system.  Santa Fe City and County Residents and Businesses that put out their curbside recycling were randomly selected based on an address lottery system.  NMRC sent the selected individuals and businesses a letter in the mail commending them for recycling and explaining that they were “caught in the act” of recycling.   The reward of a gift certificate or similar item would be included within this letter.  A Massachusetts-based study noted that a reward as small as a free cup of coffee significantly boosted recycling rates.   The campaign includes a companion print media component.


NMRAM 2007 Greater Albuquerque Media Campaign

NMRC created a multi-media recycling awareness campaign aimed at the greater Albuquerque area, complete with in-town billboards, bus-sides, print, TV & radio advertisements and PSAs. The City of Albuquerque partnered in this campaign and will help launch the city's goals to become a Zero Waste community. Rio Rancho is another partner community with Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful, and awareness reached into this community as well. Mayor Martin Chavez served as spokesperson for our radio and TV PSAs. The campaign created a 20% increase in recycling tonnage.


Programs and Projects For Use in the Schools

Since 2004, we have worked directly with 166 K-12 schools throughout New Mexico, reaching more than 34,000 students! We have also awarded 25 schools with recycling bins to start their programs. Please note that the Recycling Bin Contest is not available this year. But look further down for the Keep New Mexico Beautiful grant program.

The Story of Stuff

This educational video is FREE to view online or $10 per DVD.  From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.  To view it and/or learn more go to


Buy Recycled and Reduce Waste in the Schools

In an effort to consider the principles of waste reduction and buying recycled in the school environment, we have developed a document with tips on buying products made from recycled-content and how to reduce waste in the classroom. Reducing Waste and Buying Recycled in Schools (.pdf). Also see more resources below on where to purchase recycled-content products.


Invite a Recycling Professional to Class or Visit a Recycling Center

There’s probably nothing more re-enforcing to students than to see or hear about the actual recycling process in their community and to have someone first-hand answer their questions. Contact your local solid waste division or recycling coordinator and ask them to visit your school or set up a visit to go to their recycling location.  Or check off that part on the form, so we can call or e-mail you contact information for a recycling coordinator in your area.  We know field trip budgets are tight.  To bring the tour into the classroom you might want to check out the great virtual tour of the Buckman Road Recycling & Transfer Station in Santa Fe at


Trash Audit – In Class Project

Perhaps one of the most effective classroom projects involves examining school trash cans to see what is being produced. Schools typically see large amounts of paper and cardboard in their waste streams.  You can create a percentage pie chart of trash “types” and figure out how much is actually recyclable.


Start your Recycling Collection Program with Cardboard Boxes from PNM

Free recycling boxes are available from PNM for use at events, schools, churches and nonprofit organizations. They can be used to collect daily recycling in buildings, or brought out for special events in your community. The boxes are 18" x 18" x 30". Go to and click on "Community Recycling Program".


Red Wriggler Teaching Manual Released

High Desert Worm Ranch, based in McIntosh New Mexico has released an educator's resource entitled "The Red Wriggler Teaching Manual". Manuals are available for $25 and target different study areas, from science, social studies, math and language arts. A complete educator's kit includes the manual, plastic bin, a 15-inch rubber worm,  a brick of coir, a pound of worms and is sold for $65. or call 505-384-5302.


EPA Planet Protectors

Although included in school kits who register for NMRAM, if you want to order your own set independently. You will find a 10-month Planet Protectors Club Calendar Kit. The kit is designed to teach children in Grades K-3 the concepts of reducing, reusing, and recycling, waste.

The Planet Protectors Club Calendar Kit contains a large, full-color poster for teachers or group leaders. Smaller versions of the poster may be ordered for each student/child in the classroom or group, along with a set of stickers to track progress in completing the activities. Simple, step-by-step instructions and a list of materials are included for each activity; most of which take less than an hour to complete.

From turning trash into treasure to identifying environmentally harmful products in the home, these hands-on activities provide 10-months of fun and education.

To order the large poster (EPA530-H-06-004) and the child's version with stickers (EPA530-H-06-005), go to . You may also order by phone at 1-800-490-9198, by email at , or by post mail addressed to U.S. EPA/NSCEP, P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242-0419.


Go Green Initiative

The Go Green Initiative is a simple, comprehensive nationwide program designed to create a culture of environmental responsibility on school campuses across the nation. Founded in 2002, the Go Green Initiative unites parents, students, teachers and school administrators in an effort to make real and lasting changes in their campus communities that will protect children and the environment for years to come. Find out more online at .


Keep New Mexico Beautiful Grants

Also, Keep New Mexico Beautiful has small Grants available for schools for the purchase of recycling bins. Visit or call 800-760-5662.


Backyard Composting 

You can also request a “Backyard Composting Made Easy” guide created by the New Mexico Environment Department: Solid Waste Bureau. Any school can create a compost bin for a science project, garden complement, or to compost cafeteria food scraps on a large scale. Contact Greg Baker at the following number or e-mail below. Or go online to to find an electronic version in English and Spanish.


Cash For Cans

Hold a recycling drive for cans in your school to raise funds. On this site, you can download a teacher's resource called "The Recycling Loop". Go to to learn more.


Elmers Glue Crew

Start recycling glue sticks and glue bottles at your school.


TerraCycle & Honest Kids™ Drink Pouch Brigade

Every year millions of drink pouches end up in garbage and landfills. Find out about a recycling program for these type of packages that can earn your school money.


Reduce, Reuse and Recycling Activity Ideas for Kids

Check out this website that has a long list of different activities.

Biodegradable Service Ware Links:





Recycled-Content Product Supplies & Procurement Links:

New Mexico Businesses:

Beck Office Systems (Albuquerque Recycled Office Furniture)

Vision Paper (Albq manufacturer of recycled-content papers)

UnityCenter/Phat Frames (Creates award/picture frames from wooden pallets)

JaiTire (shredded-tire fluff for playgrounds and athletic surfaces)


Other Resources:


Office Depot (Offers online catalog, carries paper/office products that have recycled-content - they will deliver free with minimum purchase anywhere in NM!)

Staples (Offers online catalog with recycled-content products. Also accepts computers, printers, digital cameras, cell phones, cartridges and rechargeable batteries for recycling)

Green Earth Office Supply

Sustainable Group (non-vinyl, recycled-content corrugated binders, three-rings)

Dolphin Blue


Center for a New American Dream

EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines

EPA's Design for the Environment Program

EPA's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program

Energy Star

Environmental Choice

Green Seal


Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Program

See our the Links and Resources page for more Information

Learn more about the 33% by 2012 TeamRecycle More New Mexico!




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