North Central Solid Waste Authority is continually seeking alternatives that can lower consumer costs for our customers.  One way to lower consumer costs is recycling.  Recycling is the single most cost effective and significant program North Central has!

Recycling and trash pickup work in unison – recycling reduces the amount of trash being sent to the landfill, which reduces landfill fees (“tipping fees”), which lowers cost.

Did you know that there is no landfill in Rio Arriba County?  Most of the trash generated here is hauled to Rio Rancho.

Recyclables are hauled to Albuquerque (paper, cardboard and plastic). North Central receives a nominal fee for some recyclables which helps offset the hauling cost, allowing us to accept household recyclables at no charge to our customers.

October 1, 2015

North Central Solid Waste Authority will no longer accept glass as a recyclable after October 1, 2015.  The faculty that accepted glass, Santa Fe County’s B.U.R.R.T recycling has modified their operation and has begun to tansport their recycling to Friedman Recycling in Albuquerque.  The cost to haul glass separate from other recyclables is not cost efficient for the Authority.  Therefore, we will continue to offer single stream recycling to our customers at no cost.

We thank you in advance for making the effort to recycle.


Does North Central pay me for my recyclables?

No, North Central does not pay for recyclables.  North Central pays to haul recyclables to recyclers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  The nominal fee North Central receives for some recyclables helps offset the hauling cost.  North Central absorbs the rest of the cost to help protect our beautiful natural environment.

How does recycling save me money?

Does it seem like one polycart isn’t always enough for your family?  You could pay for a second cart, or RECYCLE!  By diverting household recyclables out of your polycart, you avoid having to pay for a second cart or paying to dispose of excess trash at a disposal facility.

You can bring your household recyclables free-of-charge to any of our disposal facilities.

TIP: if your recyclables include aluminum or other scrap metal, you can take the metal to a metal recycler in Española and sell it to them!

What can I recycle?

North Central accepts plastics # 1 through 7, clean cardboard, paper, and metal.  Plastic, cardboard and paper can be mixed together.  Metal and glass must be separate from all other items.

Why can’t I recycle pizza boxes?

Although pizza boxes are corrugated cardboard and may be made from recycled material (and have the recycling symbol on them), pizza boxes cannot be recycled because the cheese and grease residue contaminates the recycling process.  When used pizza boxes are thrown in with cardboard for recycling the whole load can be contaminated and then has to be thrown away as trash.  Please recycle your clean corrugated cardboard but dispose of your pizza boxes with your regular household trash.

Will North Central pick up my recyclables?

Commercial customers can rent dumpsters for cardboard recycling to be picked up at their businesses.  We do not pick up household recyclables at this time.

Tires/electronics/food waste/etc., are recyclable.  Why doesn’t North Central take them?

North Central has to haul all recyclables to area recyclers so we can only accept what they accept.

Tires can be disposed of at the Alcalde Waste Transfer Station and Recycling Center for a fee.  When North Central collects enough tires, we pay to have them hauled away to a recycler in Texas.  The fee charged is to offset the hauling and disposal fees we pay.

All other items can be disposed of as trash using your permit card.

What can I do to promote recycling?

Buy recycled products!  As the market for recycled products grows, more recyclers will develop facilities in New Mexico!


New Mexico Recycling Coalition

State of New Mexico Solid Waste Bureau

Keep New Mexico Beautiful

New Mexico SWANA Roadrunner Chapter


US Environmental Protection Agency