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Associate Director - SW
HQ Phone:  (505) 764-6200
Direct Phone: (505) ***-****
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2601 Central Ave Nw
Albuquerque, New Mexico,87104
New Mexico Recycling Coalition
Jill HolbertNM Environment Department: Solid Waste BureauPO Box 26110Santa Fe, NM email@example.comPhone (505) 827-0129
Associate Director Solid Waste Management Department
This year's Recycler of the Year Award goes to Jill Holbert, Associate Director of the City of Albuquerque's Solid Waste Department.
Says Jill Holbert, the Solid Waste Department's Acting Director, "The ultimate goal of the department is to help Keep Albuquerque Beautiful, creating quality of life for its citizens."
Re-Evaluating Processes According to Holbert the state of the economy has remained the biggest challenge over the past several years as well as has an impact on the organization's revenue. The department had to reorganize to adjust to the hard hit economy while taking a closer look at its routes. However, the Department has made sure that they have stayed ahead of whatever challenges have come their way. For example, they are currently re-routing commercial collections to assign the correct number of trucks and drivers to become more efficient. The department has also had to deal with changing fuel costs. "Since 2005, in an effort to not allow fuel cost affect our business, a fuel surcharge is billed to every customer each month. It has helped defer the cost of fuel," says Holbert. To avoid any rate increase for our customers, the Department, under the direction of Mayor Richard J. Berry, decided to enter into a public/private partnership," explains Holbert. "This partnership allowed the creation of a new state-of-the-art processing facility at no extra cost to the Department's customers. With the introduction of this new facility, the recycling program's material list grew by leaps and bounds. It took the Department two years to implement the program and the major challenges faced was delivering approximately 178,000 recycling carts with no interruption of service to residential customers, so before distributing 96-gallon carts to every customer, a pilot program was launched to determine best operating, education and routing practices."The pilot period helped us determine how many households would completely fill a truck. Our educational material had to be adjusted in order to accommodate a few issues that arouse during this pilot time frame. Says Holbert. Since the transition, the public has embraced the new recycling program. This is a very popular program we often run out of sellable material," says Holbert. Says Holbert, "The Solid Waste Management Department looks forward to improving its services in the future, helping to create quality of life for the City of Albuquerque."
That means the program is "in the black," just not generating much revenue, said Jill Holbert, Albuquerque's director of solid waste management.
recycle11-03-14 Still, she said, it's a huge improvement over a few years ago, when the city subsidized the processing of recyclables with about $1.2 million a year. The sharp increase in the amount of material residents are recycling has Holbert encouraged about the future prospects for making money, she said. "It's actually been incredible, the response to getting the blue carts," Holbert said in an interview. "We're really happy about that." The city picked up more than 31,000 tons in the fiscal year that ended over the summer, up from 18,000 the previous year. The city rolled out blue bins to most customers those years. Recycling was less frequent before that, when people had to bundle up the material on their own before putting it on the curb. Still, the city hopes to encourage even more people to recycle, Holbert said. About 60 to 80 percent of households now put out their blue bins at least once a month, according to city estimates. And for those who recycle regularly already, Holbert said, the city hopes they will start putting even more in the bins. Some people aren't aware of how many different materials can be accepted in the blue bins, including soft- and hard-bound books, cellphones and digital cameras, most plastics and even pet-food cans, she said. There's "a learning curve for residents to recycle all the things" now accepted, Holbert said. "We knew there were going to be some growing pains at the beginning of the program." There are a few things, of course, that the city doesn't want in the blue bins. Pizza boxes, plastic grocery bags, glass of any kind, Styrofoam and yard waste shouldn't go in the bins. It's difficult to say precisely what percentage of the city's waste is now recycled, Holbert said.