A blue recycling truck next to waste bins.


Santa Fe promotes the conservation of natural resources and building a circular economy by enacting programs and practices to consciously to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Recycle Right

Santa Fe’s Strategy to Reduce Waste

Our waste can take many forms: Uneaten food, clothing, old furniture, yard waste, paper, plastic, and construction materials can all end up in our landfills. The City of Santa Fe collects recycling from over 31,000 customers weekly. Santa Fe has a goal to achieve an average regular residential recycling participation rate of 90%. Reducing how much waste we produce will conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as landfill waste releases emissions as it decomposes.

Check out the Recycle Coach app for Santa Fe specific information on what you can recycle.

trash bins

Recycle Right

Tracking and Measuring Waste

To achieve zero waste, everyone in Santa Fe must embrace reusing, recycling, composting, and most importantly, reducing our consumption of materials. Since 2018, the average amount of waste produced by individual Santa Fe resident has remained pretty static: around 4.3 lbs per day. The national rate was 4.9 in 2018.

To drive this number down, the City of Santa Fe is working to require businesses, multi-family complexes, and special events to offer recycling options; require that construction and demolition waste is minimized, reused, and recycled; and create local economic development strategies and programs to target recycling and reuse businesses.

Recycle Right

Tracking and Measuring: Recycling

We can’t improve what we don’t measure. So, the City of Santa Fe tracks how much waste is being diverted away from landfill. In 2022, Santa Fe diverted 16% of its waste to recycling, a decrease from 17.5% in 2021. Last year, 84% of our waste went to landfill so we have room to improve. For reference, the national rate was 67.9% in 2018.


Smart Waste Management

Tech in Your Trash Trucks

The RUBICONSmartCity™ platform aims to improve residential and commercial waste and recycling services and allows the City of Santa Fe to track key metrics related to waste collection services, including vehicle usage, service confirmations, missed pick-ups, and issues at the curb. 

Rubicon’s technology is now installed across the City’s entire waste and recycling fleet, numbering more than 60 vehicles covering more than 30 different routes. Learn more about the platform’s launch.

A smart phone mounted in the front window of a waste management vehicle.
Photo of a group of people painting over graffiti on a wall outside.

Volunteers engage in a "graffiti wipe out" with KSFB.

Litter Prevention

Reusable Bags, Clean Ups, and Cigarette Butts

The City of Santa Fe has implemented a Reusable Bag Ordinance to prevent plastic bag waste before it starts. Remember to bring your own bag when you head to the store!

Keep Santa Fe Beautiful (KSFB) also works to raise awareness about litter prevention, reduce waste, and keep our community beautiful. A nonprofit volunteer program, KSFB partners with ESD and the Parks Division to conduct litter clean-up events.

Did you know? Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the U.S. and across the globe. KSFB started a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to install cigarette litter urns in high-traffic areas across the city to reduce pollution.

Recycle Right

Reducing Waste Starts with You

The City’s Environmental Services Division (ESD) is constantly working to educate our community about zero waste. ESD’s radio show on 99.9 FM, advertisements about recycling right at local movie theaters, and calendars that are sent to residents are all ways that the City connects with residents about waste and recycling. In-person outreach is also key; ESD regularly attends speaking engagements, special events, and school programs to make sure everyone knows how to “recycle right.” 

How You Can Help

Reduce waste in your day-to-day life!

Reduce Your Use, Reduce Your Waste
Volunteer with Keep Santa Fe Beautiful
Most Single-Use Plastic Bags are Banned in Santa Fe
Get Help with Broken Items and Learn Repair Skills
Bring Your Own Bag