Save the Earth!
Become a BLACK BELT in recycling! Join the Environmental Services Department (ESD) Recycling Challenge. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Register for a virtual Recycling 101 course
- Complete the virtual course
- Earn EXCLUSIVE ESD Swag as you level up on your journey to become a BLACK BELT in recycling.
ESD is challenging the community to help reduce recycling contamination rate by joining the Recycling Challenge.
The contamination rate for the Curbside Recycling Program is 32 percent, which is higher than the national average of 25 percent. This means nearly one out of every three items dropped in a blue recycling bin don’t belong there. Help us reduce the contamination level to 23 percent by 2023.
Customers who take the challenge will be provided with the educational resources needed to master their knowledge of recyclables accepted in our program. Participants will earn exclusive promotional items.
For questions call (915) 212-6000 or email ESDoutreach@elpasotexas.gov
Earning A Belt
The recycling challenge features three belts – Yellow, Green and Black. The color-coded rankings system rewards customers along their journey to become better stewards of the environment. Belt colors and how to achieve the next rankings:
- Yellow Belt: Register and successfully complete a virtual or in-person course.
- Green Belt: Pass an unannounced review of contents inside blue bin or successfully complete a recycling quiz to show your mastery of the Curbside Recycling Program.
- Black Belt: Pass a second unannounced review of the contents inside blue bin to become a BLACK BELT in RECYCLING.
Recycling 101 is a virtual course designed by the Environmental Services Department to boost awareness of materials accepted in the Curbside Recycling Program.
Though many items may be considered recyclable, only recyclables accepted by the local materials recovery facility (MRF) should be placed in the blue bin.
All contents rolled to the curb in blue bins are loaded in a collection truck and taken to the MRF. At the facility, materials accepted in the recycling program are sorted and bailed to prepare them for resale. Materials not accepted by the MFR are considered trash and are loaded in collection trucks and hauled to the landfill.
Customers who participate in the Recycling Challenge will learn:
- Tips and Rules for Recycling
- About recyclables that are Accepted and Not Accepted in the blue bin
- Why ESD does not accept certain items
- Recycling bin organization tips
- How to check their collection day and how to set collection day reminders
- Other Recycling options/services provided by ESD
How is this different from the Opt-In Program?
The Opt-In program was developed to help new ESD customers learn about items that belong in the blue bin, about the benefits of recycling, and ways to help combat recycling contamination. The Recycling Challenge is open to all customers.
Top 10 contaminants in blue recycling bins*
- Bagged recyclables
- Yard Waste
- Pizza Boxes
- Plastic Bags
- Tanglers such as wires, electronics, hoses
*All these items above should be tossed in the trash bin.