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Crews pick up mas litter; MVD ends auto-extensions

SOMEONE TOSSED 36,000 POUNDS MAS: Remember a few weeks ago the N.M. Department of Transportation announced it was bringing back the “Toss No Mas” campaign to address roadside littering?

Clearly it was needed.

In one day, June 5 to be exact, 155 DOT employees picked up 18 tons of trash. An NMDOT news release says the haul included lumber, drywall, carpet, wood pallets, large cardboard boxes, pipe, semi tires, canvas tents, tools, disposable masks, household trash, cans, buckets, clothing, car parts, a barbecue grill, a couch, a mattress, a toilet, hypodermic needles and medical waste, water bottles filled with urine and spit, one snake and $80.

Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval says, “All of the money spent on this single event ($29,969 of your tax dollars) could be spent on potholes or guardrail repair, for example. We need everyone to do their part to prevent roadside litter. Waste management workers and private citizens must securely tarp or cover their loads. People can help by tying up their garbage bags and making sure waste bins are securely closed. We all play a part in this battle to keep our state clean.”

 New Mexico Department of Transportation crews picked up 18 tons of litter in one day of the agency’s Toss No Mas campaign. (Courtesy of Nmdot)

We do. And here’s betting that mattress, toilet and grill – in fact much of the 18 tons picked up – didn’t fly out of a pickup because it lacked a tarp. While this event was DOT employees only, Sandoval says “we hope to hold frequent Toss No Mas cleanup events in the future and eventually include municipalities and public volunteers. The event was incredibly successful.”

And while we should all celebrate and thank the cleanup crews, it is such a sad commentary on New Mexicans that they are needed.

MVD ENDS AUTO-EXTENSIONS: The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division made that announcement Friday. It means that MVD “is no longer issuing temporary driver’s license extensions to customers whose licenses expired during the COVID-19 pandemic.” MVD issued more than 620,000 of the temp extensions over the pandemic.

But MVD is also not fully open – yet.

“In-person service remains by appointment only,” the MVD news release says. “Appointments are now readily available at MVD offices statewide. Customers are urged either to renew their licenses online at mvdonline.com if their license has been expired for less than one year, or to make an appointment at mvd.newmexico.gov.”

You can do a lot online, including renewing your license – even if you have a commercial license or are over age 79 and need to renew annually – and renewing your vehicle registration.

However, getting your first Real ID requires an in-person appointment (you already have a Real ID if there is a gold star in the top right corner of your license, the feds have delayed mandated Real ID until May 2023, and all the required/accepted documents are on the MVD website).

Don’t have access to a computer? MVD says the “updated phone system allows customers to renew licenses and vehicle registrations and pay a variety of fees through an automated system. The service, available at 888-683-4636, accepts credit and debit card payments.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

 


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