Pilot recycling designed to save landfill space

File photo The city has set up a recycling collection point at the landfill, as well as Albertsons and Wal-Mart locations. The pilot recycling program, started in January, has netted the city about 100 tons in materials that would have otherwise taken up landfill s

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Clovis city officials are hoping for a spacial relationship of a new sort with the city landfill and a pilot recycling program.

Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield, commissioners Len Vohs and Fred Van Soelen joined Public Works Director Clint Bunch and Landfill Superintendent Joel Garcia recently for a look at a recycling center in Santa Fe.

They were looking for ideas to plan for upcoming phases of the plan in Clovis, which kicked off voluntary recycling in January.

Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said the main mission of the program is to save space at the landfill. Burroughes said the city is seeking a grant to get the program past its starting point.

“We’ve got a lot of public interest,” Burroughes said, “and we’ve got recycling areas at Albertsons, Wal-Mart and the landfill.”

A goal, Burroughes said, is to have a facility at the landfill specifically for recyclables and preparing them for purchase.

“There are going to be about three or four companies we are looking at to offload these recyclables that have pretty numbers to them, from $20 to $30 a ton, which is pretty good,” Garcia said.

Garcia said he wasn’t sure if the program could finance itself. But he said the program has added value because it’s better to get $26 a ton for materials than bury them for nothing and lose space at the landfill.

Since January, the program has netted about 100 tons. That’s roughly the equivalent about half a day’s normal garbage in Clovis.

Money garnered from sale of recycled materials goes into the city’s general fund.

Burroughes doubts mandated recycling will be happening, and Garcia said residents have been proactive in recycling, notably on plastic bottles.

“It’s certainly voluntary for the foreseeable future,” Burroughes said.

Garcia said there are plans for more collection centers, and asks residents to call Bunch or Bill Kshir at the city to suggest other collection locations.