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Nevadans Produce Twice As Much Garbage Than Average Americans

Cardboard boxes crammed together for trash disposal.
Jon Moore

The average Nevadan produces nearly 8 pounds of garbage per person every day. That's nearly twice the national average, according to a new report form the American Society of Civil Engineers, or ASCE. 

However, the data suggests that per capita waste generation is heavily influenced by the tourism corridors, including Las Vegas. The report said that in Nevada, over 90% of all of its garbage goes to one of two major, privately-owned landfills: Lockwood in Sparks and Apex in North Las Vegas.

The society's projections show that the capacity of the two main landfills will be able to handle current waste generation rates for the century ahead of us.

However, in the rural parts of the state, there are just not a lot of options to handle garbage, and most of them are expensive.

While the Reno and Las Vegas regions are meeting or exceeding their goals for recycling, at least 25 percent of their waste each year, rural regions are struggling to catch up.

The report said Nevada’s statewide recycling percentage fell short of the 25 percent goal. Right now, it's around 22 percent. To meet that goal, the society says Nevada will need to recycle the equivalent of nearly 100 Olympic size swimming pools more worth of waste each year.

Bree Zender is a former host and reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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