We don’t often think about what happens to our garbage after we put it out on the curb. We just know that all cans inside our house better be empty and in the garbage can, before Friday when the trash pick-up comes, so that our garage does not start to smell. What happens to our waste? Where does our garbage go? What about our recyclables?
The Las Vegas landfill in Apex is privately owned and shares some 90% of all of Nevada’s garbage with the other privately owned landfill in Sparks, Nevada. The truth is that after the garbage service comes to pick up your garbage, it is headed to one of these landfills before mid-day.
Now, some states and some trash-hauling companies such as Western Elite sort through the garbage and remove recyclable materials after they do pick-up. However, when you consider that the average Nevadan produces nearly eight pounds of garbage per person per day, this process becomes very costly. Hence, many companies bypass this process and haul the waste straight to the landfill.
Each year Americans throw away roughly 258 million tons of waste. Once at the landfill, trash is strategically layered with complex liner and drainage systems. These liners and systems have a goal to help the waste decompose naturally. After the landfill is filled, it’s covered with several feet of soil to contain the waste beneath and prevent the spread of contaminants.
We know from national reports that space is running out. Barges have been found carrying garbage along rivers, garbage has been dumped in the ocean, and many landfills are at their brink capacity. Now more than ever, we need global participation in waste recycling.
As far as the process of recycling goes, we know that after the recycle trucks collect recyclables, recycling goes to Republic Services’ recycling plant. The items collected are sorted and checked to be sure that they can be recycled. This is where you save time and money for your hauling company, by following the rules. After properly sorted, the recyclables are put through their various processes.
According to the Nevada Recycling and Waste Reduction Report for 2019, metals are the top recycled material, followed by paper. Some 248,699 tons of paper was recycled in 2017. Recent reports continue to show that Nevada is just shy of its 25% recycle rate.
Consumers can help by doing their part. Homeowners can recycle daily household goods like paper, junk mail, cans, empty cartons, magazines, cardboard boxes, and more. While this may not seem like a lot, they could easily reduce those waste numbers from eight pounds of waste per day down to six or even four. That would literally reduce waste by 50%.
Companies can also do their part. They can use dumpster rental services or waste container rentals to dispose of the many cardboard boxes that their vendors ship materials in, papers and newspapers, cans, and more. They have the ability to reduce waste significantly, because of how much they consume. There is no reason why they have to contribute to the Las Vegas landfill. The best part is that these dumpster rentals and waste container rentals are very affordable, while simultaneously also benefit the environment in a big way.
Some businesses have also begun getting creative with waste management and begun composting fruits and veggies, as well as coffee grinds, from their employees’ breakfasts and lunches. With this, they’ve started community gardens and/or taken the compost and donated it. Again, this may seem small, but when you consider how many employees a company has, this is not just a drop in the bucket. Over time, this greatly impacts the environment in a really positive way.
We all must do our part and stop adding to the landfills. Recycling does not take that much effort and can go a long way. While we all know the process of where our garbage goes and may think that it becomes the trash company’s problem once it leaves our curb, it’s still our problem. We need to start taking responsibility for our actions and working to reduce our waste. Start recycling and join in the green efforts to preserve our air, our land, and our waterways. Your small contributions help greatly and Western Elite is right with you in your efforts to protect the environment for a cleaner future.