In order to realize the goal of developing a comprehensive recycling plan for Amarillo, the city’s Environmental Task Force maintains it must first focus on a trio of initiatives.

“We’re excited about the vast potential of a long term recycling effort, but there are some avenues we still need to explore before we get to that point,” Amarillo Environmental Task Force member Cole Camp, said. “We know Amarillo cares about the environment and we’re buoyed by that fact.”

Camp said the body would be focused on a previous probe that provided insight into the recycling dynamic here while also delving into peer group diversion and waste stream composition.

“The Michael Rice study was done several years ago, with the purpose of examining recycling possibilities in Amarillo,” he said. “We’re going to be diving into that document, because it provides a great deal of historical background and will help chart the course of where we’re going.”

Camp said the peer group diversion piece allows for reflection upon what other cities comparable in size to Amarillo are doing with regard to recycling initiatives.

“When we discuss diversion, we want to find out what we want to keep from going to the landfill,” he said. “What percent of our waste can we divert? By diverting the waste from going to the landfill, we save money. We pay for everything that is going into that landfill. If we can keep the excessive amounts of waste from going there, we can save by composting and recycling. There are going to be capital expenditures, such as equipment, but the savings from minimizing landfill use is definitely a consideration.”

Waste stream composition references what’s in the Amarillo trash, per Camp.

“We need to know how much of it is yard waste,” he said. “How much of it is cans? Or glass? What's going on with food waste levels? Answering those questions will go a long way towards developing a solid, long-term recycling plan.”

Camp said there is some equipment the Task Force has requested to help enhance projects that have already been started. City officials acknowledged $200,000 has been preliminarily earmarked for the new fiscal year budget as a means of upgrading current recycling sites at various locales.

“Hopefully we are able to not just only upgrade those sites, but maybe if there is enough money left over, perhaps the possibility exists another site or two could be added,” he said.

A listing of City operated recycling centers is listed below:

• 27th and Hayes – aluminum cans, tin cans, oil and oil filters

• 6th and Western – Fire Station – aluminum cans, tin cans, oil and oil filters

• Estacado – Fire Station - aluminum cans, tin cans, oil and oil filters

• 34th and Soncy – Fire Station - aluminum cans, tin cans, oil and oil filters

• Hastings – Fire Station – aluminum Cans, tin Cans, oil and oil filters