Reno Recycling Round-up

Red Eye Diner, 2008; image by Nightshade
Red Eye Diner, 2008; image by Nightshade

If you dropped off your Burning Man recycling at one of the free 24-hour drop off centers in Reno-Sparks, perhaps you’re wondering what happened to your cans and bottles? Here is a summary of the free drive-thru recycling project operated by Save Mart in the Reno~Sparks area for burners during and following the week of Burning Man.

The total amount of recyclable materials dropped off in ’08 was about three times larger than in 2007.

Sadly, we’re told that although lots of aluminum was dropped off, a large chunk of this valuable metal was stolen from the parking lots one night. Other metals deposited amounted to 6-7 times as much as in 2007, however, so the project raised $633 overall — and Save Mart is matching that amount, meaning that $1366 will be donated to the Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno for maintenance of their solar energy installation, which is soon to be built by Black Rock Solar.

All aluminum and metals went to Solid Waste Reduction Services, plastics to Earth First Recycling, glass to Waste Management, and cardboard and plastic bags remained in-house with Save Mart’s regular recycling. All bicycles have gone to the Kiwanis Bike Project. Garbage deposit was also apparently a big help to burners — eleven 30-foot dumpsters were filled.

Here is the breakdown of the most notable recyclables totals for 2008 (and in parentheses, for 2007). Unit of measurement is one bin, 4’x4’x3′.

Plastics — 183 bins (55)
Aluminum — 9 (18)
Other Metals — 7 (1)
Glass — 34 (12)
Cardboard — 64 (24)
Bicycles — 61 bicycles (7)

(Note: although Whole Foods in Reno also operated a 24-hour dropoff recycling project this year, its scope was not quite as large and exact numbers of recyclables were not tracked; we are however told it was also a successful operation and the two stores may partner for this project in 2009.) We would like to thank both these stores and the Reno area burners who helped with this project for keeping these recyclables from turning into trash…and thank YOU for separating your camp’s trash and being sure to recycle at Burning Man 2008 — and, we hope, all year long.

About the author: Andie Grace

Andie Grace returned to the staff of Burning Man in 2019 as a producer of strategic storytelling content. During her original tenure at BMHQ from 2000-2013, she was a member of the Executive Committee, managed the Communications Department, and helped oversee the early development of the Regional Network. During her seven-year hiatus, she co-founded an indie film distribution label, an indie video game label, and a creative coworking hub in Silicon Valley, but ultimately her passion for Burning Man and its cultural future pulled her back to the staff of the Project. She lives with her family in Berkeley, California.

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