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City Moves Forward to Enhance Recycling

Mayor Richard J. Berry and the Albuquerque City Council will move forward with plans to enhance recycling efforts in Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque City Council approved Mayor Richard J. Berry’s plan to enter into a private/public partnership that will bolster recycling efforts in Albuquerque.

Friedman Recycling will receive, sort, process, store, market, sell, and transport recyclable materials collected by the City’s Solid Waste Management Department. Of equal importance, Friedman Recycling agreed to build a new multi-million dollar single stream material recovery facility (MRF) at their expense, which will increase the capacity to recycle in Albuquerque.

“Albuquerque currently recycles only an estimated 6 percent of our waste. We have to do better, and thanks to the Councilors who voted for this initiative, we are well on our way to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city," Mayor Berry said. This partnership is the first step toward implementing a cart based recycling program which will increase recycling city-wide in the future.

The City’s financial arrangement with Friedman Recycling is based on several variables. Friedman Recycling may charge a processing fee and/or share revenue from the sale of materials. The ultimate goal is to have the City benefit from the profit sharing mechanisms of the contract. "When we can share in the profits, not burden the taxpayers with the complete costs to construct the facility and bolster our recycling efforts - that's a win-win for our citizens and the environment." said Mayor Berry.

The City built the current recycling process center in the early 1990s and over the years, Albuquerque far outgrew the facility. In the past, thousands of cubic yards of recyclable materials have been stockpiled because the current facility simply cannot handle the work load.

The recommendation of award by Council passed 7 to 2 with Councilors Debbie O'Malley, Isaac Benton, Brad Winter, Dan Lewis, Michael Cook, Trudy Jones and Don Harris voting in favor of the award.  Councilors Ken Sanchez and Rey Garduno voted against the plan to enhance recycling in the city.