In November, the City of El Paso decided to suspend the curbside recycling program because they were dealing with a lack of available staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were issues with their truck drivers being exposed to the virus, waiting for test results, and because they were working with about 50 available drivers, 12 - 15 hour shifts were not uncommon, and it led to problems that the City said were insurmountable at this time. City officials also said that they felt that the public wasn't all that down with recycling anyway. They said the number of items that were improperly recycled continually gummed up the works and it was not financially feasible to continue the curbside recycling program the way things were going.

Fast-forward to the holiday season and City officials said that if you wanted to recycle, you could take your recycling to Citizen Collection centers in various parts of town. Throughout the month or so since the suspension of curbside recycling, videos and pics on social media have popped up showing just how serious a lot of El Pasoans are about recycling like this one from Instagram:

Erika Ortega took the video that showed the line at one of the Citizen Collection centers, and judging from the comments, a lot of people wish the City would bring back the curbside recycling. A local news station spoke with Ellen Smyth, the head of the City's Environmental Services Department who said that while they are surprised at the long lines at the recycling centers, they are still trying to deal with COVID-19 numbers among their employees. She said that if you want to recycle, the only option right now is to wait in the lines. Smyth said that the City is still looking into when the curbside recycling program can be brought back but wouldn't give even a possibility as to when that will happen other than to say it would either be this month or in February.

If you want to know where you can recycle, click here for locations.

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