December 8, 2016

Angel Fire Sustainability Committee Says “We Know Jo, Do You?”

By Jo Mixon

This week’s featured “I Know Jo” business of the week is Angel Fire Sustainability Committee.

Recycling is and has been a part of my life style for as long as I can remember. I carried my own cloth bags into stores way before it was the norm. Ask my sister, she’ll tell you that I hyperventilate if I have to use a plastic bag at a store! I have also always had separation containers in my home for plastics, glass, cardboard, and cans. So when I was asked to be a part of the Sustainability Committee of Angel Fire, it seemed like a great fit!

The committee is comprised of the following volunteer members, most of whom are pictured above:

  • Rick Sprott, Chairman plus Planning, Funding, and Hub Relations
  • Tara Chisum, Vice Chair plus Education and Outreach Programs
  • Cindy Sprott, Secretary plus Committee Administration and Outreach
  • Scott Jones, Grants and Web Master
  • Guy Wood, Media Outreach
  • Jerry Halpern, Residential Education and Outreach
  • Jo Mixon, Business Education and Outreach, Chamber of Commerce Liaison
  • Carol Rupp, Business Education and Outreach, Arts

Andrew Gonzales, Moreno Valley High School Student Programs with Ben Liddle as acting member while Andrew is in Argentina as an exchange student

Non-voting members include Christy Germscheid, Village Council Liaison, and Scott Gibson, Village Recycling Center Supervisor.

This group is energetic and has accomplished a great deal. Rick shared with me that in June 2009, the Village Council established the Recycling Committee, then later expanded its charter and renamed it the Sustainability Committee. From the beginning, the committee has worked hand-in-glove with the Solid Waste Department, which had already established an impressive recycling program and was considered the state model for rural recycling programs.

Since the Committee began its work, the Village recycling rate has increased from 5% in 2009 to 9% in 2011, and landfill waste dropped 14% from 2010 to 2011 alone. The vision in the Committee’s Strategic plan is for Angel Fire to be the premier rural recycling program in the nation. The Solid Waste Department has also made recycling and waste reduction good business by selling recyclable materials and eliminating the cost of paying to transport and landfill solid waste. In 2011, the Village realized $53,625 in revenue and savings from recyclable sales and reduced waste to our landfill. The results are even more important in these difficult financial times, so the committee’s work to reduce waste and increase recycling has monetary rewards as well as environmental ones.

The Sustainability Committee focuses on education and outreach, grant writing, and coordination with other communities to build on the Department’s program. It has had several major accomplishments since its inception. Grants have been awarded for a glass crusher, a collection trailer and bins for collection at local businesses and homes; and a central location for recyclable materials as well as trash disposal has been established. It has moved towards Angel Fire becoming a hub system by working to involve regional cooperation and collaboration with Red River, Cimarron, Eagle Nest, Raton, Taos, and Philmont Scout Camp (with an equal partner focus). To me that’s pretty impressive.

So as Rick Sprott, Chairman of the committee says, “Reducing waste and increasing recycling just makes sense.” I totally agree! Please join the efforts!

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