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El Paso’s curbside recycling program will soon change to every other week

EL PASO, Texas -- The City of El Paso Environmental Services Department is changing the way that recyclables are collected from your home.

The "Blue Every Two" initiative means recyclables will be collected every other week.

The city placed computers on-board their recycling trucks and the data collected revealed that less than 50% of El Pasoans are putting their blue bins out each week – and of those 50%, the bins are not even half-full.

Ellen Smyth, the environmental services director, says the new initiative is all about efficiency.

"The trash drivers now are working overtime. We have a difficult time keeping the number of drivers that we need. So by reassigning the drivers, we'll take the load off the trash side and we'll be much more efficient with the blue," she explained.

Smyth says the new plan will save the city nearly $2.5 million a year. She says the money saved may be used to build another citizen collection station on the city’s far east side.

The "Blue Every Two" program is scheduled to begin in late March.


Saul Saenz

El Paso native Saul Saenz is a veteran reporter who also hosts ABC-7 Extra.



  1. That SUCKS. We fill the recycle bin FULL every week! Can’t go for TWO WEEKS! Will they give us another bin without extra charge? Everything is about money these days:((

  2. Hotingos truthcacamouth and K1dputillo on to the blue bins. Lol. I mean, these mensos have something to say about everything! Give them a turd and they will entertain themselves for a day.

    1. You’re the TURD THAT BRINGS entertainment to this comment section. You must like ILLEGAL DUMPING, because that’s how YOU and SO MANY OF YOUR KIND got here. YOU’RE THE POSTER ASSHOLE ILLEGAL DUMPING!!!

  3. This seems to penalize the people who are being environmentally conscious and recycling. Will a second bluebin be availabke at no cost for those who want it? Perhaps instead of penalizing those who DO recycle, offset the ‘extra’ cost by charging those who don’t recycle. I imagine that would get a lot of folks recycling. Please don’t go backwards!

  4. I agree with K1DPR, we fill up our recycling bin every week, and because El Paso has had such a good program, our household waste has reduced from 5 to 6 garbage bags, to 2 garbage bags per week. Is there ANY way to petition this? What am I supposed to do with all my recyclables? Will I be able to get a second recycling bin at no cost? It really does seem like it’s not a safety issue, it’s a money issue – always has been, and always will be.
    It’s all about the city of El Paso taking money away from a good recycling program that, let’s be honest, could use more publicity, and spending that money elsewhere, that isn’t going to benefit the community whatsoever. The main reason people don’t recycle is because they are lazy. A little more education and publicity could go a long way, not only for the community, but for the planet as a whole. Also, I think if the city learned how to stay on a budget, and hire the appropriate number of drivers/trucks we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

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