The State of New Mexico mandates all institutions of higher education to divert 25 percent of their waste, meaning NMSU had to develop a recycling program to comply with the diversion criteria. Facilities and Services has established an integrated solid waste management program focused on recycling, reduction, and improved handling of campus-generated solid wastes.
Art Lucero becomes Solid Waste & Recycling Manager in September and implements new equipment and procedures to expand the Aggie Recycling Center. Mr. Lucero opens the door for students to do community service projects with the recycling center and to propose new recycling programs. The Aggie Recycling Center begins installing containers in buildings for the collection of recyclables and implements a pick up schedule to prevent them from overflowing.
Mr. Lucero submits the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to NMSU President Michael V. Martin for consideration. On April 17, 2007 New Mexico State University President Martin signs the Commitment, making NMSU a Charter Signatory of the ACUPCC. Signatories agree to Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible, and to initiate two or more tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed. Signatories must make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for posting and dissemination.
One of the tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to participate in the national RecycleMania competition, which is held for a 10-week period every year. RecycleMania is a friendly contest between college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities in their campus communities. NMSU’s inaugural year in RecycleMania culminates with an overall 5th place finish out of 400 participating universities.
Mr. Lucero teams up with Associated Students of New Mexico State University (ASNMSU) and together they lobby for $55,000.00 from the State Legislature to purchase new containers for the collection of recyclables. In April the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) invites Mr. Lucero to take part on the Authority’s Recycling Focus Group, which was formed to tackle the issue of recycling in southern New Mexico.
President Martin receives a letter of thanks from the U.S. EPA Municipal Waste Reduction Branch Chief, for participating in RecycleMania.
NMSU receives the Post-Secondary Schoool Recycling Program of the Year Award from the New Mexico Recycling Coalition (NMRC). The goal of the NMRC is to have waste valued as a resource, and their award recognizes those who work to promote recycling and composting throughout New Mexico.