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Way to Go Green CNM! 2,786 Trees and Counting Saved

In November 2010, CNM super-sized its recycling efforts when it signed a contract with Waste Management of New Mexico, Inc., which led to the landing of dumpsters on all CNM campuses that collect nothing but recycled materials.

Sep 01, 2016

June 2011

In November 2010, CNM super-sized its recycling efforts when it signed a contract with Waste Management of New Mexico, Inc., which led to the landing of dumpsters on all CNM campuses that collect nothing but recycled materials. The new contract also expanded the materials that could be recycled at CNM to include all fiber-based materials – from cardboard to posters to phone books to magazines and everything in between. The contract with Waste Management also includes the recycling of metal, plastics and aluminum.

In less than a year, the results are already supremely green. So far, the new recycling program has led to 232 tons of cardboard and paper, 11 tons of metal, 11 tons of plastic and five tons of aluminum being recycled.

If those numbers are a little hard to weigh in your mind, there's a more earthy way to look at the results. The recycling of these materials at CNM reduces the need to manufacture new products from natural resources. Waste Management of New Mexico estimates that CNM's recycling efforts to date will save the following resources that are needed in the manufacturing of new products:

  • 2,786 mature trees, an amount of timber that would produce 34.5 million sheets of newspaper
  • 1.625 million gallons of water, enough fresh water to meet the daily fresh water needs of more than 21,667 people
  • 558 barrels of oil, which provides enough energy to heat and cool at least 116 homes for a year
  • 937 cubic yards of landfill space, which represents enough space to fulfill municipal waste disposal needs for 1,202 people for a year
  • .95 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of at least 115 homes.

When CNM signed the contract with Waste Management, one requirement was to divert 20 percent of CNM's waste from landfills. CNM has far exceeded that number to date, diverting 47 percent of its waste from landfills and into recycling processes.

CNM's Operations personnel collect recyclables from bins across all of the campuses and transport the materials to the dumpsters daily.

This new program has also saved CNM money. Prior to the Waste Management contract, CNM's dumpsters were regularly emptied by waste collectors on specific days, regardless of whether the dumpsters were nearly full. Under the new contract, the dumpsters are emptied only when they're nearly full, saving money on the number of pickups.