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Recycling fits with Curbside Pickup and “To-go” Meals

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Las Cruces has been stepping up to support its eateries in their times of need. Since sitting areas are closed, and to-go or home delivery are the only options, some restaurants are looking at new ways to stay green while serving their customers.

Russell Hernandez, co-owner of Salud! de Mesilla at 1800 Avenida de Mesilla, said he has tried to adjust as much as possible. The normally well-lit dining room is dark, but he’s answering customer calls as they come in, ready to take to-go orders, and he also is handling orders popping up on the business website.

While Salud’s hours have changed -- Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., Hernandez said Salud!’s business values remain unchanged, which include providing sustainable business tactics, such as serving orders in paper/cardboard containers made with sustainable forestry initiatives.

Even though his containers won’t be recycled -- the containers have food waste that contaminates them -- it’s a way for customers to be reminded that Styrofoam and plastic bags don’t need to be the only way to-go for to-go to be handled. In fact, Hernandez said he carries each order out in a brown bag paper (which can be recycled) and has gone completely electronic with his purchases. Customers get a text or an email with their receipt.

“Every bit helps,” Hernandez said. “Some of our regular customers will have their insulated bags in their trunk and we bring their order to them and place it in their bags.”  

He said the only issue he’s had with sustainability has been with condiments.

“We’ll have changes with that in the future, but I wanted to use what we have in stock first now,” he said. “We’re committed to see our customers here in the future, but we know we can stay as green as possible in the meantime.”

The South Central Solid Waste Authority can be reached at 575-528-3800 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The SCSWA provides solid waste and recycling services to Las Cruces and Dona Ana County residents and businesses. Visit www.SCSWA.net.

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