Helping Santa Fe rethink their waste
Recycle
FAQ’s
Simple answers to all of your recycling questions.
To find answers about recycling and composting from other suggested sites, check out the resources on the right.

Questions

1. What forms of payment are accepted?

2. Can I recycle envelopes with cellophane windows?

3. What should I do with empty paint cans?

4. Can I recycle post-it notes and envelopes with gummy adhesives?

5. Why can’t I recycle my plastic clamshell containers that are labeled #1 on the bottom?

6. Can I recycle my used mattress?

7. What is a landfill?

8. What is the purpose of a landfill?

9. What are the hours of operation?

What forms of payment are accepted?

The Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency accepts cash, check, Visa or Mastercard, or approved credit accounts only.  Checks can be made out to SFSWMA.
To apply for a credit account click here.

Can I recycle envelopes with cellophane windows?

Yes!  The bales of paper produced by BuRRT allow for a small percentage of contamination in which envelopes with cellophane windows are an accepted contaminate.  Simply toss cellophane windowed envelopes in your recycling as is.   If you are willing to put in the extra effort, remove the cellophane before recycling it!

What should I do with empty paint cans?

Once empty, paint cans are not toxic and can be disposed of in the regular trash.  Paint cans containing water based latex paint can be disposed of in a few ways other than bringing it to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.  One way is to set the paint out in the sun on a warm day and let the paint dry up.  Once the paint is dried it can be thrown away.  The other option is to mix in a solidifying agent such as dirt or kitty litter and once hardened throw the can away.  If the paint is still in good condition it can be donated to a reuse place such as Habitat for Humanity.

Any paint that is not water based must be disposed of at the BuRRT Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility now open Fridays and Saturdays ONLY, 8am to 4:45pm.

Can I recycle post-it notes and envelopes with gummy adhesives?

Yes! BuRRT can recycle all paper as long as it is not contaminated with food nor has a plastic or wax layer to it, such as a paper cup.

Why can’t I recycle my plastic clamshell containers that are labeled #1 on the bottom?

BuRRT can only accept #1 & 2 plastic bottles, jars, and jugs because of the marketability of the plastic and the capability of the facility. To-go containers or clamshells are not accepted even if they are #1 or 2 plastic because those items are also made out of #3-7 plastic and compostable “plastic” and thus melt at a lower temperature during the re-manufacturing process. It is also too difficult to differentiate the #1 & 2 plastic from #3-7 plastic clamshells on the BuRRT sort line. In order to prevent contamination of the bales, only #1 & 2 bottles, jars, and jugs are accepted.

Clamshells are also usually covered in food, which when put in the recycling bin could contaminate other recyclables like paper. Food contaminated paper is not recyclable and therefore trashed.

Visit the plastic section to see which items can be recycled and which are trash.

Can I recycle my used mattress?

Unfortunately there is no way to recycle your mattress in Santa Fe so it must be sent to the landfill. You can call the City for a large item pick up or you can bring it to BuRRT. If your mattress is like new, you could check with one of the local donation centers to see if they would take it.

What is a Landfill?

There are two ways to bury trash:

Dump

An open hole in the ground where trash is buried and that has various animals (rats, mice, birds) swarming around. (This is most people’s idea of a landfill!)

Landfill

Carefully designed structure built into or on top of the ground in which trash is isolated from the surrounding environment (groundwater, air, rain). This isolation is accomplished with a bottom liner and daily covering of soil.

Sanitary landfill

Landfill that uses a clay liner to isolate the trash from the environment

Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill

Uses a synthetic (plastic) liner to isolate the trash from the environment.

What is the purpose of a landfill?

The purpose of a landfill is to bury the trash in such a way that it will be isolated from groundwater, will be kept dry and will not be in contact with air. Under these conditions, trash will not decompose much. A landfill is not like a compost pile, where the purpose is to bury trash in such a way that it will decompose quickly.

What are the hours of operation?

The Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer Station is open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 4:45 pm except Holidays.

The Caja del Rio Landfill is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm except Holidays.