Not everyone happy with ‘hub and spoke’ concept

By Eric Fincher<br />Staff writer

By Eric Fincher<br />Staff writer

In the past year, recycling in Angel Fire has kicked into high gear with the help of the Angel Fire Recycling Committee trying to get as many businesses and communities onboard.

But not everyone is pleased with the arrangement. Angel Fire has utilized the New Mexico Recycle Coalition’s hub and spoke concept for the past year and a half. The concept involves rural communities working together to bring all their recyclables to one central location. That way, each community doesn’t have to spend money to get expensive recycling machinery.

In the local area, the program is not without its problem. Eagle Nest Mayor Richard Cordova said it costs the Village of Eagle Nest too much to transport its recyclables to the Angel Fire Collection Center.

“We are refusing to be part of the hub and spoke concept,” Cordova said. “Transportation costs just cost the village too much.”

In addition, the mayor said the village wants to keep all of its scrap metal and the revenues generated by the sale of the materials.

“Last year the village got about $4,000 in revenue from the sale of the metal,” Cordova said. “We use the money for beautification and other projects here in town.”

Currently, Eagle Nest has no recycling program, and all recyclables are going to the landfill in Wagon Mound. Cordova said although nothing is set in stone, he has been talking with Angel Fire officials about the possible pickup of cardboard and other recyclables in Eagle Nest.

Angel Fire Recycling Committee Chairman Rick Sprott said he understands Cordova’s concerns, but there is very little money in the recycling business and the Village of Angel Fire is far from breaking even.

“You don’t get into recycling for the money,” Sprott said. “The whole idea is to take care of the environment and lessen the amount of materials going to landfills.”

Sprott added that years ago, Angel Fire used to transport its cardboard to Eagle Nest. But when the price of cardboard took a nose dive, the transportation to Eagle Nest stopped. Sprott said the village is making pennies for every dollar spent on the program.

Much of the funding comes in the form of grants. But Sprott said the village normally has to come up with some sort of matching funds for any projects it wishes to take on regarding the recycling program.

“Even though the village got around $30,000 for the glass crusher, Angel Fire still had to come up with an additional $18,000 in matching funds,” he said.

Sprott said communities are not stuck in any sort of agreement and are at liberty to make any sort of arrangement they feel is necessary.

“In the past couple years, the village has gotten about $15,000,” Sprott said. “That’s not even enough for an employee’s salary. But it’s not about the money, as I said earlier.”