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:
- plastics (SPI #1-5)
- all metals (aluminum, tin, copper, brass etc)
- 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:
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
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.