October 24, 2019
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University is no longer accepting plastic for recycling at its university and public Recycling Center at 9th and Raynolds in Las Vegas.
“Due to a downshift in the price of plastic, the vendor who was previously accepting plastics from our Recycling Center will no longer be accepting plastics of any type,” said Freddie Martínez, Recycling Center manager at Highlands. “The dramatic reduction of recycling companies accepting plastics has not only affected Highlands, but the state and nation as a whole.”
Martínez said the broader plastic recycling problem is related to China no longer accepting plastics of any kind for recycling.
Carmen Lopez has been the Recycling Center coordinator at Highlands since November 2013. She encourages people to do what they can to limit their use of plastics.
“For example, people can shop smarter by buying water in aluminum cans rather than plastic,” Lopez said. “People can also convert to using stainless steel water flasks.”
Lopez said consumers are beginning to have more shopping options, such as fruit packaged in biodegradable paper cartons rather than plastic.
“I hope this frustrating and complicated situation with plastics won’t discourage people from coming to the Highlands Recycling Center because there’s still so much we can recycle and divert from landfills,” Lopez said. “We’re still accepting cardboard, tin food cans and scrap metal, aluminum cans, insulated #2 copper, and brass.”
Lopez said the Highlands and Las Vegas communities are dedicated to recycling.
“We have regular customers who come rain, shine or snow,” Lopez said.
The Highlands Recycling Center is at 9th and Raynolds adjacent to the Gallinas River Walk. It is west of the university’s John A. Wilson Complex and behind the tennis court parking lot. It is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., except during holidays and other university closures.
The recycling center cannot accept items like newspaper, paper, televisions, mattresses, tires, Styrofoam, shredded paper, motor oil and paint because it can’t recycle them. Biohazards like diabetic needles also aren’t allowed.
Highlands built its Recycling Center in 2010 and opened it to the public. The phone number for the center is 505-426-7788.