Roswell recycling center closing, city worried for landfill future

New Mexico News

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – J & A Recycling in Roswell is closing its doors after 10 months of being in service due to financial struggles and not having enough patrons using the service. The city is now concerned about the waste products that will end up in the city-run landfill that do not break down easily.

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“We’ve gotten to the point that we just don’t have enough customers to exceed our expenses for the income to exceed it,” says Bob Wooley, manager of J & A Recycling. “When you get to that point, you can’t stay in business. You’re losing money.”

J & A offered at home pick-up service for those who paid the service price. From there, the company would take the products to be sorted at their facility and then be transported to plants in cities like El Paso, Texas, to be purchased and processed.

Wooley said it took them six months to take the recyclables to be transported and were not able to make a profit. He said he has been able to make a profit in the company’s 10-month run.

J and A originally replaced the city’s recycling program back in 2020 after the use of public recycling bins was not properly utilized.

“So two years ago when we had the containers out there, we had a lot [of] contamination in the system, so people would be dumping regular trash along with the recycling,” said City Manager Joe Neeb.

The city does not want to dismiss the idea of recycling in Roswell and is trying to come up with a solution because they don’t want to fill up the new cell at the landfill too quickly. The city plans on opening up the new Cell 5 installation as soon as Cell 4 has been filled to the top.

“The city of Roswell wants everyone to recycle because it changes out the diverse material from the landfill which allows the landfill to last just a little bit longer when we’re not dealing with some of these products that don’t break down very easy [sic] in the landfill,” Neeb said

Though J & A can’t maintain the service, Wooley said they hope that the city, or maybe a new business they spoke with, might continue the effort.

“I hope something does come about even if the city does it or if they work a franchise with this couple. I hope that we can continue recycling in Roswell,” Wooley said.

The city of Roswell says the problem is finding a business to take it over. When the city ran the program, it cost them nearly a quarter of a million dollars a year. Also, the public recycling bins are not an option being considered right now.

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