Recycling at CNM

Information on the Campus Race to Zero Waste program and single-stream recycling at CNM.

Campus Race to Zero Waste logoCampus Race to Zero Waste

Each year, the Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) Program calls for best practice case studies from campuses across the U.S. and Canada to showcase programs and strategies in waste minimization, food waste reduction, and education and awareness. The case study program is a great opportunity to study our progress and to share helpful information with colleges that are working on similar efforts.

This year, CNM hosted an Online Education Campaign so that students & staff who are not on campus may continue to learn about waste and recycling. The campaign emphasized residential solutions that align with our situation in Albuquerque, as well as global waste issues. The topics presented were buying in bulk; composting at home; plastic pollutants and pollution; recycling materials and contaminants; the recycling market; landfills; and environmental justice.


In 2021, CNM participated in an education and awareness campaign that ran on social media platforms, rather than participating in live recycling audits; this was a measure to keep students and staff safe during the national surge of coronavirus cases. In 2020, as a part of a STEM class project, students from the Native American Community Academy (NACA) High School, located at CNM Main Campus, assisted the CNM Physical Plant Department on whether or not the new waste and recycling signage has had an impact on waste diversion and contamination rates. In 2018, CNM won the case study in the Waste Minimization category and received an honorable mention in 2019. 

Help CNM to educate its community by taking this quick survey. 

Sustainability Survey

Single-Stream Recycling at CNM

Single-stream recycling is an all-in-one recycling method where materials can be combined into one single bin. CNM has blue single-stream recycling bins located next to the trash cans in most classrooms and large green cardboard recycling bins have been placed in common areas across all campuses.

Here are some examples of items that CAN be placed in CNM's single-stream recycling bins:

  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Aluminum cans and foil
  • Copy paper
  • Lids from coffee cups
  • Cardboard
  • Paper envelopes
  • Newspapers
  • Tin or steel cans
  • Plastic bottles
  • Milk jugs

Items that should NOT be placed in CNM recycling bins include:

  • Food wrappers
  • Candy wrappers
  • Bags from chips or snacks
  • Full or partially full plastic bottles
  • Cardboard or paper containing food
  • Styrofoam containers
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Glass bottles or jars