Taking one TAL task

By Chelle Delaney: QCS Associate Editor

The Science Club and students at Tucumcari High School are giving the city a recycling boost.

The large green recycling bins appearing around the city recently are in great part due of the Science Club, student council president Michael Martinez reported to the Tucumcari School Board Monday night.

The club has spearheaded a recycling program at the high school and helped to put on Earth Day activities on Tuesday.

One of the speakers at Tuesday’s event was Mike Martin of TAL Trash Service and Recycling of Tucumcari.

“Since the school started this, everyone has really gotten on the bandwagon. It has really taken off,” said Martin, who expects to have several dozen large bins at different sites throughout the city.

Martin and his partner of 16 years, Theresa A. Lavigne, started TAL about four years ago.

“Theresa really gets all the credit,”Martin said. “The company’s name is her initials. She wanted to do this and I’ve supported her. Mostly, it just breaks even, but it keeps trash out of the landfill.”

Lavigne, who was out of town on Tuesday at a workshop, also works as a nurse at Dan Trigg Memorial Hospital.

So far, the large beige bin in the parking lot in front of the high school has generated three loads of recyclables since it was placed there in mid-January. Each load yields about 3,600 pounds of recyclables that are then trucked to firms in New Mexico or Arizona which process the materials into new goods, Martin said.

For example, the clear bottles go to make more bottles, plastic shopping bags are used in manufacturing items that range from vinyl siding to vinyl windows, and paper yields other paper goods, Martin said.

In addition to recycle bins in Tucumcari, Martin said there are others in Logan, which began a small recycling program last year.

“Logan School was one of the first to ask about recycling,” Martin said.

“The community of House is very supportive,” said Martin, adding that he even has a recycling pick-up in Hayden.

In the future, recycle bins are expected to be placed in Nara Visa and several other communities in Quay County, Martin said.

The city of Tucumcari and the schools have applied for grants which should help the fledgling recycling program.

Currently, glass cannot be recycled but its hoped in the future that a glass crusher can be purchased and that a program for recycled glass can be provided, too, Martin said.