Recycling in Reno and Washoe County gives everyone an opportunity to contribute to environmental quality, save money, and lessen our dependence on imported oil. It's easy to make recycling a habit in the Truckee Meadows - here's the information you need to get going.
Why Should Reno Residents Recycle?
Because it saves you money and is good for the environment. By recycling, we all contribute toward lowering the cost of things like packaging and lessen our dependence on imported oil.
Plastic encasing just about everything we buy is made from oil - reusing it means less is used once and tossed into the trash. Companies like Patagonia make clothing from recycled plastic, primarily the stuff used to make water and soft drink bottles.
It's the same idea with paper. Making new paper requires cutting trees, vast quantities of water, and a nasty brew of noxious chemicals. Recycling helps keep contaminants out of our landfills, extending the life of these facilities and lowering the risk of pollution escaping into the environment. With electronic devices, proper recycling is absolutely necessary to contain the hazardous materials they all contain. Reusing the numerous precious metals and plastics that go into electronic components also helps reduce the cost of new devices.
Where Are The Recycling Centers?
The nearest recycling center is your own home (see Curbside Pick-up below). There are, however, instances when large items or large quantities call for a trip to a recycling center, participation in a recycling event, or drive to the regional landfill east of Sparks at Lockwood.
In addition to the main landfill at Lockwood, there are two Reno-area transfer stations that take items not readily recycled through the curbside system. There is also one in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe.
2401 Canyon Way, Sparks (east on I80)
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed Saturdays Sept. 19 - Feb. 27. Closed Sundays.
Reno Transfer Station
1390 E. Commercial Row, Reno
Hours: 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday.
Stead Transfer Station
13876 Mt. Anderson, Reno
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Sunday.
Incline Village Transfer Station
1076 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Public recycling drop-off sites around the area include...
- Recycle America, 1100 E. Commercial Row in Reno
- Smiths Shopping Center, Baring Blvd. in Sparks
- Recycle America, 1455 E. Greg St. in Sparks
- Incline Village, 1200 Sweetwater Rd.
Call (775) 329-8822 for more information.
What About Curbside Pick-up For Recyclables?
Curbside recycling is not mandatory, but why wouldn't you do it? To participate, contact Waste Management at (775) 329-8822 and request recycling bins. The green one is for glass food and beverage containers. The yellow one is for aluminum food and beverage containers, metal cans, PET plastic containers with the symbol #1, HDPE natural plastic containers with the symbol #2 (narrow neck containers only like milk and water bottles), and HDPE colored plastic containers with the symbol #2. Use brown paper bags for newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. Cardboard and junk mail is not accepted.
To understand what those recycling symbols on plastic containers mean, see this plastic coding system explanation.
What Is Accepted For Curbside Recycling?
Most anything with the potential for reuse can be recycled. Here are the common consumer items you can recycle in curbside bins or at area recycling centers...
- Glass bottles & jars
- Aluminum cans
- Steel cans
- Plastic bottles
What About Recycling Other Household Items?
Other items that can be recycled in the Reno / Tahoe area include metal, appliances, and dead cars.
- Metal - Solid Waste Reduction
- Cars, dead or alive - American Auto Wreckers
- Trash hauling - 1-800-Got-Junk
All those plastic bags used by virtually every store can be recycled into other products. Most supermarkets and many other stores have plastic bag recycling containers where you can deposit your accumulated bags.
For recycling many things not yet mentioned, some of which are hazardous, refer to this list of businesses and agencies provided by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB). Call KTMB for assistance if you're not sure where to take a particular item - (775) 851-5185.
Recycling CFL Bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) dramatically reduce your electricity bills, but there is a catch. They contain a tiny amount of mercury. To keep this contaminant out of the environment, you must properly recycle CFLs rather than toss them in the regular trash.
There are two non-profit organizations that refurbish and/or recycle computers, monitors, printers, software and other electronic devices. Refurbished computers are donated or sold back to the community at low cost. Donate old computers to one of these to help a fellow resident and keep e-waste out of the environment...
Recycling Christmas Trees
Thousands of Christmas trees are recycled through the Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful program. Christmas tree recycling turns holiday trees into mulch used in our public parks. It's also free for citizens to haul off some of the mulch for use in their own landscaping projects.
Report Illegal Dumping
I have no sympathy for those who trash public land because they are too lazy and uncaring to properly dispose of their refuse. It's also illegal. To report this disgusting activity, call the illegal dumping hotline at (775) 329-DUMP. To learn more, visit the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Waste Management, Solid Waste Branch.
Sources: Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Washoe County Health District, Cities of Reno & Sparks, Waste Management.