Gardening and Recycling at CNM

If you are a member of a student club, an instructor who is interested in pursuing a location for a long-term garden program, or if you are another CNM-affiliated person interested in establishing community gardens, please contact Bridget O'Leary-Storer at

Building upon Central New Mexico Community College’s commitment to sustainability in academics, architecture, the use and reuse of resources, and in its relations with the community, CNM is providing methods to support partnerships between faculty and facilities for integrating sustainability into curricula.

Image of flowers at Montoya Campus gardens

Campus as a Living Lab 

The Campus as a Living Lab (CLL) program encourages applicants to tailor garden beds to serve either as part of an academic curriculum, a learning garden, or a research garden. The program utilizes campus facilities, renovations, retrofits, events, and other projects to teach student learning outcomes in existing courses in innovative and interesting ways, while also integrating sustainability concepts across the curriculum. Here are some noteworthy accomplishments: 

  • In one semester, 16 faculty and nearly 900 students completed at least one assignment linked to a CLL project.
  • Within two semesters, over 20 faculty and nearly 1500 students completed at least one assignment linked to a CLL project.

Individual Departments at CNM are encouraged to apply for a garden bed if the beds are not adopted out by faculty for any given semester. Water in the Desert and Campus Race to Zero Waste programs are available for Campus Living Lab Projects. Faculty members or students interested in Campus as a Living Lab projects should contact Bridget O'Leary-Storer at

Image of flowers at Montoya Campus gardens

Campus Race to Zero Waste

Each year, the Campus Race to Zero Waste Program calls for best practice case studies from campuses across the U.S. and Canada to showcase programs and strategies in waste minimization, food waste reduction, education, and awareness. The case study program is a great opportunity to study our progress and to share helpful information with colleges that are working on similar efforts.

Recent Campaigns

In 2021, CNM hosted an Online Education Campaign so that students and staff who are not on campus may continue to learn about waste and recycling. The campaign emphasized residential solutions that align with our situation in Albuquerque, as well as global waste issues. The topics presented included buying in bulk, composting at home, plastic pollutants and pollution, recycling materials and contaminants, the recycling market, landfills, and environmental justice. Learn more about the 2021 CNM Case Study

Single-Stream Recycling at CNM

Single-stream recycling is an all-in-one recycling method where materials can be combined into one single bin. CNM has blue single-stream recycling bins located next to the trash cans in most classrooms and large green cardboard recycling bins have been placed in common areas across all campuses.

Here are some examples of items that CAN be placed in CNM's single-stream recycling bins: 

Image of items to put in a recycling bin and items to leave out of the recycling bin.

Click the image above to enlarge

  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Aluminum cans and foil
  • Copy paper
  • Lids from coffee cups
  • Cardboard
  • Paper envelopes
  • Newspapers
  • Tin or steel cans
  • Plastic bottles
  • Milk jugs

Items that should NOT be placed in CNM recycling bins include:

  • Food wrappers
  • Candy wrappers
  • Bags from chips or snacks
  • Full or partially full plastic bottles
  • Cardboard or paper containing food
  • Styrofoam containers
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Glass bottles or jars