Cardboard and Plastic and Aluminum – Oh my!

We partnered with Expo New Mexico and the New Mexico State Fair for the first time this year to help feed our hungry neighbors while reducing waste.  We set up 42 recycling collection bins all around the grounds of Expo New Mexico.  When guests placed aluminum, plastic or cardboard in the bins, they helped solve hunger while protecting the environment.

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(Roadrunner Food Bank recycling bin at Expo New Mexico.)

The recyclables are taken back to the Food Bank to be baled and then sold to local recycling companies.  Funds earned from these recycling efforts will support the mission of the Food Bank and help provide meals for the nearly 40,000 hungry people we serve every week.

We are still collecting the remainder of the recyclables from the Expo grounds, but we expect to bring in 29 tons of materials from the Fair.  The Food Bank already handles and recycles large volumes of cardboard and plastic within our warehouse on a daily basis.  Providing recycling services to Expo New Mexico was a natural fit.

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(Cardboard collected at the State Fair for resale.)

Teresa Johansen, chief operating officer at the Food Bank said, “The State Fair was looking to enhance their recycling efforts during the 12-day event.  The Food Bank has a recycling service in place and already handles recyclable materials from a variety of locations, such as the U.S. Forest Service.  This new venture worked out for both the Food Bank and Expo New Mexico.  We’re thrilled because, in the long run, it means we will be able to obtain more food for hungry people.”

According to Dan Mourning, the general manager of the New Mexico State Fair, the collaboration is a win-win:  “I can’t think of a better recipient or cause to benefit from our recycling program than Roadrunner Food Bank.  We are grateful for their willingness to help us enhance our recycling program and extremely pleased that the combined effort will result in more families in our community and state getting access to much-needed food resources.”

For more information on other green activities at the Food Bank, visit

This post was authored by Shannon Kunkel and Sonya Warwick, communications team for Roadrunner Food Bank.

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