When it comes to recycling, Santa Feans score way below state and national averages. With a recycling rate of 8%, Santa Fe is below the national rate of 32% and even below the state rate of 13%. For a city with its own state of the art recycling facility and a vision for becoming a Zero Waste community, Santa Fe can do better.

“We have a great opportunity to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill. We have weekly recycling collection for homes and businesses; we have a recycling center; and we have people that care,” says the city of Santa Fe Solid Waste Director Regina Wheeler. “Not only will we save water, energy and land, but recycling creates jobs! We are excited to launch the Save A Ton campaign to double recycling tonnage in Santa Fe in one year.”

Save A Ton kicks off on America Recycles Day, November 15, the national day of recycling education. “I invite everyone to get creative and double their recycling this year, Wheeler said. “Businesses and homes should put out plastic bottles, cardboard, tin and aluminum cans and paper for weekly pick up. Glass can be put out too, as long as it is in a separate bin.

Call 955.2200 or email rawheeler@santafenm.gov to setup business recycling or come to 1142 Siler Road to get a residential recycling bin. Electronics, phone books, green waste, books and fluorescent bulbs can be recycled at the Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer Station (BuRRT). More information and directions are at www.sfswma.org and www.santafenm.gov.

People can support recycling and have fun with the following activities:

• Shop at the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival a hip, eco-conscious art market and juried art event at El Museo Cultural on November 12, 13 and 14.

• Watch the Trash Fashion & Costume Contest on Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 7 pm. This show is a highlight of the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival at El Museo Cultural.

• Register to be part of the Traveling Ton Tour by calling 505.955.2200. A ton of recycled material will come to your school or businesses to raise awareness and gather pledges to recycle.

• Pledge to recycle at the America Recycles Day website www.americarecyclesday.org.