It’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of life in Los Alamos. Where do you go to register a car, where do you go to pay your bills, do you have to plan your trips around traffic, and how do we go about recycling? We’ll break it down point by point.
Don’t worry about it. Your main road in and out of Los Alamos is going to be NM 502 and that doesn’t get busy unless you’re driving during the main commuting hours. Given that the highway is the main artery between Santa Fe and Los Alamos, wintry weather or sudden summer monsoons can cause some backups. The other 90% of the time, you typically have very few other cars on the road and excellent views in all direction. It’s one of the best commutes we know of. In town, traffic is simply referred to as a red light—no kidding!
It’s easy to pay your bills in Los Alamos. Just visit the Los Alamos County website and get your account started. The easiest way is to pay online, but if that’s not an option for any reason, you can walk your payments in to the office at 1000 Central Avenue or pay by mail. You can check rates and fees here. You’ll probably find utility costs in Los Alamos to be pretty reasonable.
There’s no need to book a trip to the recycling plant—we’ve got the blue bins here in Los Alamos. The Lost Alamos County website has a handy guide on the matter, but we’ll break down the basics for you: You can recycle clean cardboard, plastic bottles and cans, and anything paper if it’s dry, plus foil or steel. Styrofoam, light bulbs, glass, used paper towels, chip bags, and greasy pizza boxes all go in the trash. You can take glass to Eco Station, Overlook, Co-op, or Sullivan Field, and you can take plastic bags to Smith’s Marketplace 751 Trinity Drive in Los Alamos.
For a relatively small city with just about 12,000 people, the Mesa Public Library is impressive, with numerous book clubs for adult and child readers and a really solid inventory of books. The library can be found at 2400 Central Avenue in Los Alamos and is open from 10 AM to 9 PM Monday through Thursday, closing at 6 PM on Friday and 5 PM on Saturday. Sunday hours are noon to 5 PM. There is a second library branch in White Rock at 10 Sherwood Boulevard with the same business hours. Shown below, the Los Alamos branch was designed in 1994 by American architect Antoine Predock.
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Commuting from Santa Fe to LANL