Amid the dinging and clanking of the slot machines and the shouts of joy and frustration of the millions of gamblers that visit Las Vegas each year, there are also the sounds of recycling.
In most of the big Las Vegas hotels, recycling programs have been established for steel and aluminum cans, glass and plastic containers, corrugated cardboard, newspapers and magazines. And for the residents of Las Vegas, a curbside program accepting the same materials services the entire Las Vegas area, including about 170,000 households. Silver State Disposal provides recycling services for both the residents and the hotels of Las Vegas. In the spring of 1991, the hauler opened its new material recovery facility (MRF) in North Las Vegas.
“When we were in the planning stages of designing the facility and developing the program, we never discussed including steel cans or purchasing a magnetic separator. It was a given,” said Steve Kalish, spokesperson for Silver State Disposal. “Steel cans are easy to do because of their magnetic qualities, and they’re simple to recycle because there are markets for recycling them.”
The curbside program is a three-basket system. Bimonthly, the same day as garbage pick-up, residents sort their recyclables into the three baskets. Corrugated cardboard is flattened and set next to the baskets.
In addition to the curbside program, a drop-off location at the MRF accepts large scrap metal along with the curbside items. Quarterly, household hazardous waste is collected, including paint and used car and motor oil.
“We’re trying to get the word out any way we can. Radio commercials, newspaper ads, billboards, you name it, we’ve done it. We even send out calendars annually to remind people of their recycling days,” said Kalish. “It’s important to keep sending the message and make the public want to participate. Because without them, it doesn’t happen.
At the MRF, the steel cans are magnetically separated and baled. They are then shipped to MRI/Proler’s detinning facility in Randolph, Arizona.