Recycling programs can be difficult to implement in remote areas, especially when there are not local recycling centers. Part A and Part B below contain some resources, strategies and suggestions that can be implemented in remote areas. The case studies (Part C) offer concrete examples of ways DOI employees have overcome obstacles to recycling in remote areas.

Pack Mules Carry Supplies across the River to Phantom Ranch.
Pack Mules Carry Supplies across the River to Phantom Ranch. Xanterra South Rim LLC - Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards. Department of the Interior.

USDA – Integrated Solid Waste Management for Rural Areas: A Planning Kit for Solid Waste Managers

Rural Recycling Resource Kit

The New Mexico Recycling Coalition and the New Mexico Environmental Department: Solid Waste Bureau. Resource Recycling Kit.  This resource gives some options that can be used to collect materials in remote settings.  Note: It is suggested that you only collect materials that you have markets for.

Options for Collection of Materials:

  • Drop-off

    • Common collection equipment

    • Good signage and residential guides – short, to the point, able to be understood at a glance and limited number of signs

    • Day-to-day oversight and maintenance

    • Fenced and gated to control access

Adapted Curbside for Rural Communities

  • Modified version of curbside recycling that reflects use of centralized garbage dumpster used by a cluster of homes

Recycling Drives

  • Mobile drop-off centers

  • Same place or rotation of locations

  • Must be consistent and user friendly

  • Clear staffing, signage and regular maintenance

Compacting and Hauling Recycling

Examples of Recycling in Remote Areas