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Recycling Alamogordo, New Mexico

Updated on January 30, 2012
Recycling center in Alamogordo, NM.
Recycling center in Alamogordo, NM.
Reclaimed water sign in Alameda Park.
Reclaimed water sign in Alameda Park.
Tire enforcement along ditch.
Tire enforcement along ditch.
Habitat For Humanity ReStore.
Habitat For Humanity ReStore.
One of the many Thrift Stores in town.
One of the many Thrift Stores in town.
Solar trashcan in front of City Hall. The panel is on top.
Solar trashcan in front of City Hall. The panel is on top.

Many towns and cities across the United States of America and even the world are making efforts to set up recycling programs not only for their citizens but for themselves. If you live in one of these places, you are familiar with green bins, blue bins, and bins of every shape, color, and size designed to sort and contain anything from newspapers to aluminum cans to those pesky plastic grocery bags. But that may be the extent of recycling offered in your neck of the woods and that’s a shame because recycling is extremely important in conserving resources and reducing waste. This waste ends up in land fills and land fills are filling up.

I’ve lived in many cities in my life but no city I have lived in has done more to create recycling opportunities than Alamogordo, New Mexico. Not only does the city itself participate in recycling but its citizens have continued the effort.

To drive through Alamogordo, you wouldn’t think that the city is on the recycling bandwagon. It’s a major hub for commerce for the surrounding area of south central New Mexico. The city lines the west side of the Sacramento Mountains with just about every fast food restaurant, motel chain, and home improvement store known to man. But live in Alamogordo for a while and you’ll see that the city has an environmental conscience like using old tires to stabilize ditches throughout town and reclaimed water to irrigate its numerous parks and landscapes.

The most obvious effort to encourage recycling are the receptacles the city provides to the public for cardboard, aluminum cans, and newspaper which are almost always overflowing. Drive out to the transfer station partnered with the New Mexico Recycling Coalition and you can drop off plastic, glass, aluminum, scrap metal, appliances, car batteries, oil, antifreeze, tires, and yard waste for recycling. But if you don’t want to donate your metal items for recycling and opt to sell them, there are numerous scrap yards in the area more than willing to give you top dollar. Don’t want to drive out to the transfer station? You can drop off car batteries and oil for recycling at auto parts stores like AutoZone.

Have a non running car you can’t take to a scrap yard? Donate it to Heritage for the Blind. They will haul it away for you for free and give you a vacation voucher. Have an old working refrigerator or freezer you want to replace with a new energy efficient one? Contact PNM, the electric company, for their rebate program where they will pick up that old fridge for free and pay you $30. Don’t know what to do with those plastic grocery bags? Take them to WalMart and drop them off in their plastic recycling bin. Have an old pair of eyeglasses you can no longer use? Several businesses in town have small receptacles for you to donate them to Lions Club International. Have too many dead electric tool batteries? Lowes and Home Depot have bins for you to drop those off for recycling. Did your compact florescent lightbulb finally burn out and you don’t know what to do with it since you shouldn’t put it in the trash? Lowes has a bin for you to drop those off. Doing some spring cleaning and need to get rid of stuff? There are numerous thrift stores in the city for you to donate your old items and some like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Animal Mission are charitable. Would you rather make some money off that stuff instead of donating? Log on to (a local area website),, or where you can post a classified advertisement for free. Remodeling your home and have good household items you need to get rid of? The Habitat for Humanity ReStore will gladly accept your donations. They sell these items at a discounted price to other people who are remodeling and they use the money to build houses for qualified low income families. Tired of tripping over that pile of magazines? The city library has a table in the lobby where you can place them for other people to read. There's even a solar trashcan in front of City Hall.

And for the animals, Animal Village NM just outside of the city is a nonprofit no kill shelter saving animals from death row and finding them forever homes.

In Alamogordo, there’s almost no reason to throw anything away. The city and its citizens have truly come together whether they really know it or not to do their part in preserving the environment and conserving resources. I know there are many other cities out there that are just as active with recycling if not more so than Alamogordo. But, Alamogordo is where I live and it makes me feel good to know that I have all of these recycling opportunities and I can be part of the collective effort.


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