The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace: EXTRA! EXTRA! 24-Hour Trash and Recycling on Your Way Home!

This truck does not exist. Shoop by Loopy.

In the last edition of The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace, you and I got knee-deep into your camp trash can. That was fun, but we don’t need to keep wading around in it, do we? So this time, I’ll teach you how to take that trash and turn it into gold!

Did you know that there is a Burning Man trash economy? Second only to the gift economy, the EXodus TRAsh and Recycling Network (EXTRA for short) is a bustling system of collection points for trash disposal, free recycling, and charitable donations, all of which directly benefit Burning Man and local communities in Nevada.

How does EXTRA work for you and your garbagio? Read on to find out.

EXTRA: How Does It Work?

It’s pretty awesome, I must say. Communities and local businesses along all routes from Black Rock City have convenient drop-off centers that are open 24 hours in the days following Burning Man.  This year, September 1-5, you can dispose of:

  • bicycles
  • plastics (SPI #1-5)
  • all metals (aluminum, tin, copper, brass etc)
  • glass
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • plastic bags
  • household batteries
  • non-perishable food and water
  • garbage (at $3 per 35-gallon trash bag)

Human and other hazardous waste is NOT accepted! Keep your ca-ca to yourself!

Even though many of the drop-off points are stores, you won’t be expected to shop. Just pull in, sort, and deposit your clean(ish) materials, and go on your merry way.

Where Do I Go?

If you’re headed SOUTH, EAST, or WEST:

Trash Pros
1299 Washeim Street, State Route 447, Wadsworth, NV, 775-575-0707 (just north of Wadsworth) – map

Save Mart Supermarkets
•  525 Keystone Avenue, Reno, NV, 775-786-2150 – map
•  9750 Pyramid Lake Highway, Sparks, NV, 775-425-2700 – map
•  565 East Prater Way, Sparks, 775-359-9060 – map
•  195 West Plumb Lane, Reno, NV, 775-786-0138 (back of store) – map

Whole Foods Market
6139 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV, 775-852-8023 – map

If you’re headed NORTH:

The Cedarville Collective (at Rabbit Traxx Store)
580 Patterson Way, Cedarville, CA, 530-279-2022 – map

Sorted donations at Save Mart

Proceeds beyond recovery of program expenses at all of these locations will be donated to help support new Black Rock Solar installations or other local community programs in the region. Non-perishable food and water will be donated to local food banks, and bicycles will be donated to local bike programs in support of kids in need. Your participation in the sixth year of this multi-community project is greatly appreciated!

You’ll also see some mom-and-pop collection spots along Highway 447 in Gerlach, at the Nixon Store, and at the I-80 Smoke Shop in Wadsworth. These aren’t part of the EXTRA program, and they only collect trash, but using their disposal services is another way to help out local economies.

All this information is in your survival guide, so bring it with you!  When you arrive in Black Rock City, you’ll also get an EXTRA flyer with the information and maps to drop-off points. Hang it on your mirror so it’ll be there when Burning Man is over.

This fantastic program is the result of hard work by several communities, businesses and individuals — including Nathan Aaron Heller, who co-founded and coordinates this project.  Thanks Nathan, and everyone who’s made EXTRA possible.

And thank YOU for Leaving No Trace, on and off the playa!

Next issue of The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace: RECYCLE CAMP!

The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace

The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace is a series of thoughtful actions you can take, from the moment you start packing your car to the moment you hose the last playa mud off its undercarriage. Over the next several months, we’ll dive into all these issues in depth. Here’s the overview to get you started:

  • PRECYCLE – Buy less stuff in bulky packaging, or recycle and get rid of the packaging before you come to the playa. You’re gonna need the extra room on the back end! Read more about it.
  • BRING LESS – Bring less stuff! Less is less! Save gas, save yourself a Tetris headache and save the playa from litter by leaving out that extra, non-sturdy shade structure and seven or eight pillows you don’t NEED need. Read more about it.
  • DON’T LET IT HIT THE GROUND – Cigarette butts, wood chips, nails, screws, specifically. Also single-use water bottles (don’t bring ‘em!), feathers (don’t wear ’em!) and belly dance coins from your blinged-out hips (don’t shake ’em!).
  • MANAGE YER TRASH – Icky, yet necessary. Do it. Water, too. Separate your cans from your hams and let that soapy water evaporate instead of pouring it on the ground. Read more about it.
  • RECYCLE THOSE CANS – Cans = cash for local schools! Cart ’em to Recycle Camp and take a ride on the can crusher. Read more about it.
  • PLAN TO MOOP YOUR CAMP – Don’t let anybody hit the road until you’ve conducted an all-camp line sweep. Make an exit plan that includes time to pick up any MOOP in your area, even if you don’t think it’s yours.
  • DON’T LITTER THE HIGHWAY – Strap your stuff to your head if you have to! Better yet, make it all fit in your car! Read more about it.
  • TRASH & RECYCLING STATIONS – You don’t need to carry all that mass over the mountains, just get it down the road a piece and drop it at one of several facilities that are just waiting for Burners. Check your Survival Guide for details. Read more about it.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a ten-year commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching the Man burn on Monday night during a full lunar eclipse. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

17 Comments on “The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace: EXTRA! EXTRA! 24-Hour Trash and Recycling on Your Way Home!

  • Ghost says:

    More a question; Waste Management has ‘bagsters’ which hold about 3300 pounds of trash, etc.; these bags cost about $30 and then you pay a pickup charge (locally in Reno it is $99 for first bag $79 for next bag).
    It would seem that this would allow for the trash to be put into a ‘bagster’ and picked up on the playa by one of their trucks; given if there were a large number the cost per pickup could be kept close to what it is for Reno.
    Again this is a question, we have water trucks, and sewage trucks, why not garbage trucks?

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  • Eli Meyer says:

    Sure, we could be LNT purists and require everyone to offhaul all of their human waste, however the BLM would not allow this, since it inherently result in a disgusting mess.

    Requiring participants to manage their own garbage helps educate people about their environmental impact from their waste generated and creates incentive to reduce waste trash and “disposables” brought out to the event.

    Including garbage disposal as a service with the purchase of a ticket would significantly increase event production costs, and require additional bureaucracy for management and oversight, therefore either resulting in an increase in ticket prices or a reduction of funds available for other community services and like art grants.

    Burning Man is the largest leave no trace event in the world. This is something we are very proud of. Let’s keep it that way. LNT and Radical Self reliance are two of the guiding principals for the community. Garbage services would directly undermine the very principals of burning man.

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  • Ghost says:

    Hey Eli,
    The waste management idea/question I floated was that the individuals would be responsible for the bagster/pickup. This is very similar to the RV/Trailer pumpers that go around cleaning the black/grey water tanks, and other water related areas in some camps; also it is like the potable water people who sell water in 50 gallon lots for $1/gallon.
    Self reliance works, all you have to do is have a service made available. While the BORG is centralized in its dealing, the ones delaing with pumpers and potable water is more indirect and that is what my post was and is about.
    Let’s face it, the BORG can’t even do tickets right, and enty/exit onto the playa is less than stellar. Seeing them handle garbage, oh boy not a good idea.
    As far as violative of Self Reliance/LNT, I doubt it. Change is coming, BLM is going to require clean playa, someone from NDOT is going to require clean roads from the informal dumping that is done by burners now. Having bagsters and pickup is no different than the pumper trucks taking black/grey water off playa.
    I can tell that you will not be convinced so I will leave you with a visual, you are going home and behind a poorly packed truck that suddently dumps 3 garbage bags onto the road that your car is going to hit — now what would better that situation or some bagsters?

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  • dustin wind says:

    I was grossed out by all the trash on the the side of the road last year. I was more than a little ashamed for our community. With new growth comes new responsibility. It’s time to entertain trash/recycle services.

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  • Alter Boy says:

    After 18 solid years of Burning, the notion that we can simply douse our grey water with Chlorine and spew it all over the Playa is sooooo stupid for sooooo many reasons.
    Imagine 25 thousand newbies dumping grey water on the Playa as if it was an established practice.
    If ever a reason to stop attending Bman. This one takes the cake.
    Leaving no trace is what makes Bman stand out from all those curated, boring events such as Earth Dance, Symbiosis, etc.
    Who dreamt up this lazy idea. Im so ashamed of you Borg.

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  • oh kay says:

    is this one of the ideas? Water & chlorine? nooooooo I can’t believe it….evaporation ponds really aren’t that difficult…it’s so dry & hot that everything evaporates into a powder / then you wrap up the yucky plastic and haul it away….

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  • Osiris says:

    My favorites:

    1) Precyle (has a nice ring)
    2) Don’t let it hit the ground
    3) Bring less

    @Dustin Wind Wow, I cannot believe there was trash all on the side of the road. I may attend Burning Man for my first time this year. If I saw all that trash, I would be ashamed as well. Especially because of the stereotypes associated with the community.

    Question: Why are bicycles listed?

    – “O”

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  • AsOfTime says:

    @Dustin… Did you get out of your car and help pick it up or did you just drive by it?

    Report comment

  • AsOfTime says:

    …maybe you were grossed out at yourself for not doing anything about it. Responsible?

    Report comment

  • AsOfTime says:

    @Dustin… Did you get out of your car and help pick it up or did you just drive by?

    Report comment

  • AsOfTime says:

    …maybe you were grossed out over yourself for not doing something about it. Responsible?

    Report comment

  • Osiris says:

    @AsOfTime Hmm, what would make a spectator responsible for someone else’s trash?

    I may be wrong. Just doesn’t seem fair to throw a debt of responsibility on someone who didn’t commit the ‘crime’. No?

    Osiris, Atlanta Raver

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  • AsOfTime says:

    @Osiris… Be a part of the solution not problem… If Dustin was he would not be here complaining.

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  • Mon1ca says:

    I saw a lot of trash along the road on exit and it was disgusting. Yes, it would have been really nice to stop and pick it up . . . but there was far too much of it to fit in someone’s already over packed vehicle and the potential for serious disaster by pulling out of the traffic and then trying to get back in would have made it one of the worst decisions ever.

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  • made my day says:

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