More Punch Cards for Trash Authority Customers

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The North Central Solid Waste Authority has increased the number of punches on its punch cards—meaning people can now dump more loads of waste in transfer stations.

Starting Jan. 2, customers who are residents of the city of Española received punch cards containing two punches, so that twice a year they can dump a load at the transfer station. Customers who are Rio Arriba County residents received punch cards containing four punches.

Previously city customers had only one punch and County customers had two. 

“The history of the punch cards in my mind has been almost more of a problem than a solution,” Authority Manager Peter Fuller said Dec. 27. “Customers have come to me and said very accurately, ‘Hey, just because I run out of punches doesn’t mean I run out of garbage.’ And I say, ‘Absolutely.’”

He said he is hoping to increase the amount of punches more in the future, but that he will have to figure out how to balance increases with how much garbage the Alcalde transfer station—the main transfer station in the County—can accommodate and how much transport rigs can then carry to a landfill in Sandoval County, where the waste ends up.  

Improving the current fleet and cleaning the weight scale will allow the Authority to process more waste at the transfer station, Fuller said. 

At a Dec. 18 Authority Board meeting, he announced the arrival of the new punch cards to the Board Members. 

Board Member John Ricci, who represents the city on the Board, expressed concern about the difference between the city and the County’s number of punches, saying it would be important to make that number the same for all customers.

“It’s so that I don’t have children in the bar going, ‘Oh yeah I got four cards for the year.’ ‘Well, we only get two,’” Ricci said. “So I mean it has to be consistent since we’re utilizing the same service.”

Fuller said Dec. 27 that part of the rationale for the difference in number was that city routes are better serviced, since they are more paved and less remote, so city customers may have less on the whole to dump at transfer stations.

But, he said, he would like eventually make the number consistent across all customers. 

“My vision of the future is to make everyone the same and I don’t know what that number’s going to be yet,” he said.

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