it rained more than a spit
the house leaked the precious water
into the most obnoxious places
the thunder rolled through the hills
as if to wake everything from sleeping
the dog thought otherwise
the plants, trees, flowers, everything
still alive from the lack of water
and drank it up till almost drunk
the dead and brown pinion trees
let the rain fall off their limbs
as tears, that the rain came too late
—Jerry Steuber, Placitas
Elbow grease gives recycle center more elbow room
Thanks to a lot of hard work and help from many quarters, the Placitas Recycle Center is sporting a brand-new wall and a little more elbow room to accommodate vehicles and recycled materials. The wall is the brainstorm of Placitas Recycling Association board member Garth De Leon, who planned and orchestrated the project over several months. As chairman of the association's long-range planning committee, De Leon led the volunteer organization through a complex series of steps that ultimately culminated in the attractive new block wall on the center's south boundary.
The recycle center, which is located on the north side of Highway 165 east of I-25, is sited on land generously provided at no cost by PNM, which extended the easement to accommodate the much-needed expansion. PRA volunteers provided the elbow grease to build a foundation from used tires supplied by Bernalillo Tire Center. "It was pretty slow going at first," commented De Leon. "The real breakthrough came when we received a generous grant of $5,000 from Intel Corporation." The wall itself was constructed by Superior Fence Company under the capable supervision of Cipriano "Chano" Chapparo.
During the construction, the recycle center maintained its regular hours of operation on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Some recyclers were perplexed by the barrels of water situated near the center's entrance. "This was only the only way we could provide water to the construction crew for mixing the mortar," explained De Leon. "We asked Comcast's main office for permission to get water from the standpipe at their Placitas facility across Highway 165 from the recycle center, but they refused, so we had to be more creative. The Placitas Volunteer Fire Department helped out by bringing water to the site in their tanker truck. This was definitely a community effort."
"There are so many people to thank for making this a success," added Frank Sciacca, president of the PRA. "Garth, of course, Intel, Chano Chapparo and Jim Carter from Superior Fence, Robert Roberts at PNM, La Farge, Dominguez Trucking & Earth Moving, Rusty Willson Construction, Stan Dierker Construction, Phil Valverde of Bernalillo Tire Center, the Placitas Volunteer Fire Department, hard-working PRA volunteers Frank Hawks and Len Stephens, and many others who helped."
The center currently accepts aluminum, cardboard (corrugated), newspaper, brown kraft paper, white ledger paper, polystyrene peanuts (double bagged), and clear and translucent No. 1 and No. 2 plastic. To volunteer at the center a couple of times a year, call John de Graauw at 771-9549.