In February, W Silver Recycling, Inc., announced plans to build a 120,000 square foot non-ferrous metal recycling distribution and processing plant on 60 acres in Santa Teresa. By the end of 2020, W Silver anticipates creating 50 new jobs at the Santa Teresa facility, paying an average of $14.18 per hour. (Photo: El Paso Inc.)
LAS CRUCES – The recent announcement of W Silver Recycling, Inc., beginning construction on a 120,000-square-foot facility in Santa Teresa is just the type of news that Patrick Peck, director of the South Central Solid Waste Authority, wants to hear. Why?
“It’s simple, more recycling will mean new jobs,” he explained. On 60 acres in Santa Teresa, the new recycling distribution and processing plant should be operational by late 2020 and add at least 50 new jobs to the area, estimated to pay an average wage of $14.18 per hour.
Peck sees that this could be the start of a circular economy — where recyclables that originate in our region can be remade into products to be sold and purchased again — right here in our local border economy.
“Transportation costs are the real killer in the sustainability of a recycling program,” said Peck. “And we are incredibly far away from most facilities that could take our recycling. The fact that W Silver Recycling decided to give us a chance shows there are companies that see the opportunities to create that market for our area.”
Davin Lopez, president and CEO of Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, says there is a growing interest in regional recycling.
“Given our region’s logistical advantages, the access to multiple interstates and rail lines, our centralized southwest location, and the potential to consolidate supply chain inputs from two countries,” explains Lopez, “we are finding a growing interest from a number of technology firms looking at our area to potentially establish recycling operations for a variety of waste products from plastic to rubberized materials and more.”
W Silver Recycling will use the new Santa Teresa facility as a hub for its non-ferrous materials business, which includes aluminum, copper and brass. The recycler will process metals using magnets, machines, compaction and manual labor before sending materials to its customers.
According to the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, a general rule of thumb is that for every landfill job there could be 10 recycling jobs for that same amount of material handled. The NMRC’s 2013 study showed that the recycling industry is a $236 billion industry compared to the $45 billion waste industry. The same study shows that, in 2010, New Mexicans spent more than $51 million dollars to bury more than $168 million worth of recyclable materials in landfills.
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“It’s exciting to grow end-market processing capacity in our state. Each time a recycler like W Silver Recycling sets up shop in New Mexico, it puts us one step closer to a local circular economy,” said Sarah Pierpont, NMRC executive director. “Aluminum cans recycled on the curb and at drop-off sites throughout New Mexico can now be processed in the state. This means more local jobs, less transportation costs and less extraction of natural resources.”
Green Connections is submitted by the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) managing solid waste and recyclable materials for Las Cruces and throughout Doña Ana County. Contact the SCSWA at (575) 528-3800 or visit www.SCSWA.net.
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