51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2014


Michael S. Sanchez









     WHEREAS, the disposal of the large volumes of solid waste created by modern society has been a policy concern for state and local governments for over a generation; and

     WHEREAS, the United States environmental protection agency estimates that eighty percent of the solid waste stream is recyclable into valuable and beneficial products; and

     WHEREAS, recycling is widely recognized as a means to conserve water, energy and natural resources; and

     WHEREAS, recycling creates on average five times more jobs than placing that same material in a landfill; and

     WHEREAS, a report commissioned by the New Mexico recycling coalition found that if New Mexico recycled fifty percent of the state's solid waste stream, the state would see an increase in five thousand direct jobs; and

     WHEREAS, in 1990, New Mexico enacted the Solid Waste Act and established the use of recycling and the diversion of waste materials into useful products as priorities; and

     WHEREAS, the Solid Waste Act set a statewide goal to attain a twenty-five percent recycling rate by 1995 and a further goal to increase that rate to fifty percent by 2000; however, the current recycling rate stands at a mere sixteen percent; and

     WHEREAS, in recent years, New Mexico has seen vast improvements in access to recycling, whereby eighty-seven percent of incorporated communities now have either drop-off options or curbside collections; and

     WHEREAS, more than three million dollars ($3,000,000) of federal funding has recently been invested in rural and underserved communities around the state to build and expand recycling collection and processing infrastructure using a regionalized hub-and-spoke method to ensure efficiencies; and

     WHEREAS, smaller communities that process recyclables for sale now have a recycled material cooperative available to serve their best interests and ensure market pricing; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico communities now have initial recycling infrastructures in place and are poised to work in concert with the state of New Mexico to expand recycling and increase participation and diversion rates; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico may now be in a position to achieve the fifty percent recycling rate goal set by the Solid Waste Act;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the department of environment be requested to organize a task force to study the potential of building the recycling capacity of New Mexico's communities statewide; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force include individuals with experience from varied levels of government, nonprofit organizations and businesses who have technical expertise in solid waste management and the recycling industry; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force:

          A. analyze the current recycling capacity in New Mexico and the potential to increase that capacity;

          B. develop recommendations for legislative and state agency actions designed to enable New Mexico to attain the fifty percent recycling rate goal established in the Solid Waste Act, including budget recommendations and a projected timeline; and

          C. report its findings and recommendations to the appropriate interim committee designated by the New Mexico legislative council by November 1, 2014; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of environment, the governor and the co-chairs of the New Mexico legislative council. 

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