Genero Tafoya & Frank Gonzales work at the recycling plant in the Solid Waste Management Department.
Frank Gonzales and Genaro Tafoya, both city employees with the Department of Solid Waste Management, were working when the Mosley Baler, which is the heart of the operation at the Intermediate Processing Facility (I.P.F.), broke down on July 24, 2010.
When material is brought in to process at the IPF, it is baled and shipped out for market using the baler. But when the baler broke, the only alternative would have been to recommend the closing of the doors which would have resulted in the inability to accept any material until repairs could be done.
Instead on July 24, 2010, both Gonzales and Tafoya remained calm. Even though the projected fix date for their Mosley Baler was at least two weeks away, they both jumped into action.
Because of Gonzales' and Tafoya's strong leadership skills and problem solving abilities they instructed staff to continue to process and separate material.
Their longstanding stature in the recycling field and excellent relationships that they have established with their peers in the industry over the years gave them the ability to start selling loose materials to local buyers.
"To both of their credit we got through what could have been a blow to the program and we came out of it with the program as strong as ever," Solid Waste Management Deputy Director Jill Holbert said. "One would think that both of them created a miracle during this time, but anyone who knows the operation and conditions at the I.P.F know that we create miracles on a regular basis."