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Recycling tips

óRobin Brandin
Placitas Recycling Center

While manning the Placitas Recycling Center the other day, I was once again struck by the high level of commitment that Placitas residents have to recycling. On a typical Saturday, we had over two hundred cars and filled the centerís containers for cardboard, aluminum, and plastic. One could actually see the landfill space being saved.

Several frequently asked questions prompted me to compile some tips to help patrons better prepare their recyclables. Following these tips also helps our volunteers handle the materials and find a market for them.

  • Newspapers: Please remove the brown kraft paper inserts from your newspapers. The inserts are also recyclable (along with brown paper bags), but they need to be separated from the regular newsprint.
  • Cardboard: The center accepts corrugated cardboard only. Items we canít accept include single-sheet cardboard, like cracker boxes, breakfast-food boxes, six-pack cases, and egg cartons.
  • Aluminum: The center accepts all forms of aluminum, including cans, foil, and food containers. It canít accept other metals, like tin cans. Please make sure your cans are aluminum. Some, like the Slim-Fast cans, may look like aluminum but arenít. The easiest way to check is with a magnet. A refrigerator magnet will work. If the magnet doesnít stick, the can is aluminum.
  • Plastic: Fortunately, the center can now accept all forms of plastic, including plastic bags. It canít accept any bottles that contained oil, pesticides, or other hazardous materials.
  • White paper only: The center accepts 8-1/2Ē-x-11Ē white paper as long as there is no colored paper mixed in. White paper with colored ink is okay. No computer paper with holes on the sides, and please remove all staples. Also make sure there is no newsprint mixed in (for example, school workbooks).

  • Foam polystyrene: The only polystyrene foam the center accepts is packing peanuts, and they must be double-bagged. The center canít handle block foam packaging, cups, or food containers.
  • Glass: Sorry to say, the Placitas Recycling Center canít handle any glass at this time.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask the volunteers. Separating your recyclables helps the Placitas Recycling Association maintain a high level of service.

The center is on Hightway 165 across from Comcast and open every second and fourth Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Albuquerque proposes to expand its water supply

Public hearings for the draft environmental impact statement were held in July concerning the Drinking Water Projectóthe main component of the Albuquerque Water Resources Management Strategy, which aims to use existing water resources, including San Juan-Chama water, to develop a sustainable water supply for city residents to the year 2060. The proposed project includes diverting surface water from the Rio Grande, transporting the raw water to a new water treatment plant, treating the raw water to drinking water standards, distributing the treated, potable water to customers in the cityís water service area, and aquifer storage and recovery.

The following is a suggested protest letter from Amigos Bravos.

Dear Mayor Chavez and members of the Albuquerque City Council:

Decisions being made today to expand the water supply for New Mexico's principal city will profoundly influence the health and prosperity of people and ecosystems downstream of Albuquerque. Therefore, it is appropriate that the City proceed with great care in developing its water supply project.

We, the undersigned citizens, are disturbed by the City's present Surface Water Diversion proposal, in that it does not reflect proper care and deliberation. In particular, it fails to anticipate the adverse impacts of the proposed diversions from the Rio Grande:

  • more frequent seasonal de-watering of the river,
  • reduction of downstream supplies,
  • potential concentration of  toxic contaminants, and
  • threats to aquatic and riparian ecosystems.

In addition, the proposal does not adequately reckon with the fact that Albuquerque is already effectively depleting a considerable quantity of water from the Rio Grande through aquifer pumping.

The City proposes to continue to supply water to satisfy what can only be described as excessive rates of consumption, to a customer base that is growing with alarming rapidity. This despite the fact that at present rates of consumption and population expansion city water demands cannot long be met by the available supplies, including the cityís San Juan-Chama Project entitlements.

It proposes still another diversion dam in a river already fragmented by decades of construction. It proposes to reduce minimum river flows from the present 250 cubic feet/second to seventy cfs. It proposes to divert twice the water to which it is reasonably and legally entitled.

In so doing, the proposal seemingly disregards the rights of downstream users, whose supply it jeopardizes. At risk are the farmers in nearby Valencia and Socorro Counties, our more distant neighbors in the valleys below Elephant Butte Reservoir, whose supplies are supposedly guaranteed by interstate compact and international treaty, and the Rio Grande ecosystem. These are uses no less vital than Albuquerque's.

We stand in support of the coalition of public interest and agricultural groups who have challenged the City's proposal before the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and join with them in demanding that economic and ecological protection be assured before environmental and regulatory approvals are given for this project.

We urge Albuquerque to diligently avoid the harm its proposed water project may cause.

  • It should forestall or mitigate all prospective damages.
  • It ought not be permitted to secure new supplies until it can demonstrate that it is using its existing supplies with the greatest balance and efficiency.
  • It should develop an alternative to its environmentally harmful diversion dam.
  • It should make explicit water management agreements that thoughtfully protect the Rio Grande and all of its dependents.
  • To make its future water supply truly sustainable, the City must exercise restraint in promoting short-term growth at the expense of future generations.

We are convinced that viable alternatives to the present proposal do exist. Albuquerque's leaders must now diligently seek and implement them. We believe that whatever the costs of choosing an environmentally sound water supply alternative, the present generation must accept them, so that citizens of the valley may continue to enjoy clean, sufficient drinking water, locally produced food supplies, and a healthy environment.

If you wish to send this letter of protest, Amigos Bravos invites you to edit it or add your own comments and e-mail it to lrobertson@uc.usbr.gov. The draft EIS may be viewed or downloaded at: http://www.uc.usbr. gov/ea_eis/abq/abq_adwp.html. Hard copies or CD-ROM of the environmental impact statement are available by calling 505-889-4525.

 

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