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The National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC) recently awarded the Hidalgo County Clerk’s office with a “Best Practice” Award for outstanding Records Management. The honor was announced by the NACRC on July 13th, 2012 at their annual conference, and Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo, Jr. and his staff were recognized at Tuesday’s meeting of Commissioners’ Court for their achievement.
The award recognizes the Hidalgo County Clerk’s Office of Records Management for their newly implemented program titled “Records Management: Record, Retain, Recycle.” The office began the initiative with the goal to (1) Reduce overcrowding, (2) Manage bulk paper waste, and (3) Promote environmental preservation of the county’s records management system. As the program evolved, the County Clerk’s Office successfully included a county-wide recycling strategy that is both efficient and effective. Above all, it has become a leading initiative for the County’s “green” and “sustainable” future as well as, a leading model for other counties and government entities.
There were numerous challenges facing such an enormous paper waste management system for Hidalgo County, and Guajardo and his team were able to develop an innovative solution to address the need and created a successful recycling program that has not only cleaned up the County’s records, but also revolutionized the way in which the records are disposed of. This initiative funnels paper waste from numerous county departments to the Office of Records Management for official processing and storage before going to a final stage in which the outdated records are recycled.
The recycling stage of the process is what makes this program so remarkable. Not only does the program reduce overcrowding, manage paper waste, and promote environmental awareness, but it also provides a mechanism for the recycled materials to be sold creating an average revenue stream of $220.77 monthly for the County. Furthermore, since the implementation of the program in January 2010, the environmental impact resulting from the program has been credited as saving 1,619 trees and 679,241 gallons of water as well as earning just over $3,000.00 in excess revenue for the county.