Debunking Recycling Myths

An interview with Bob Coyle, vice president of Republic Services

1. How important is it for us to separate our recyclables?

The Republic Services residential recycling program requests residents to separate their trash into three separate containers: One crate is for newspaper, magazines, and catalogs: one crate is for glass containers and one crate is for plastic containers and metal cans. The recycling is collected every other week on the same day as trash.*

In some areas of the Valley, Republic has implemented new pilot recycling programs where the recyclables can be commingled in one container, no separation is needed. In the pilot programs, Republic Services provides each residence with a large wheeled cart for trash and a large wheeled cart for recycling. All of the recyclables can be commingled in the recycling cart.

In these programs, recycling collection is increased to once per week and trash and recycling are collected once per week on the same service day. The programs have made recycling much more convenient for the resident; as a result of this, the recycling diversion rates in these programs has increased from 3.5 percent of the waste to more than 25 percent of the waste. Visit for the pickup schedule in your community.

For commercial businesses we provide commercial containers, and customers can commingle corrugated cardboard, office paper, newspapers, magazines, plastic containers, glass and metals and shrink film, for example.

2. How does the glass recycling program work—and what happens to the glass?

Glass is accepted in both residential and commercial recycling programs in Las Vegas. Much of our glass collected is used locally through a partnership with Realm of Design, a local manufacturer that reuses the glass in a process to make Green Stone for architectural accents and building materials. Some of the glass is also shipped to Strategic Recycling located in Madera, Calif. for reuse.

3. Can bottle caps be recycled?

Bottle caps are recycled along with the plastic container whether it is PET (water bottles) or HDPE (milk bottles and detergent containers). It is not necessary to remove bottle caps from bottles when discarding in recycling receptacles.

4. Do we have to take batteries, paint, and other hazardous material somewhere to be recycled or can you have someone pick those up?

Batteries, paint and other hazardous materials such as pesticides that originate in a home are considered Household Hazardous Waste by the U.S. EPA. These items are accepted at the Republic Services Material Recovery Facility at 333 W. Gowan Road, North Las Vegas and Republic’s Henderson Transfer Station, 650 Cape Horn Drive, Henderson. Each site is open on alternating weeks. To see when each site is open, visit

5. Is there a place in Vegas to “e-cycle” electronics?

There are a number of outlets to recycle electronic waste in Clark County. To locate recycling locations, go to You can also check with local electronics retail outlets like Best Buy to see if they will accept the items that you want to recycle.

6. Does Las Vegas have plenty of landfill space?

Las Vegas is very fortunate that it has abundant landfill space. Because of the prudent planning by Clark County and Republic Services, Republic purchased and permitted the Apex Regional Landfill in 1993. This landfill has 2,300 acres of space with 1,900 acres permitted for disposal of solid waste. At the current generation rate of waste, this landfill will last for more than 200 years. We are also proud to have recently broken ground on a new landfill gas-to-energy renewable energy facility at the Apex landfill anticipated to begin operation later this year.

7. With our recycling rate still at 25 percent, is there any way for Republic to extract some of the recyclable materials that have been discarded in the trash?

We do not go through the trash to pull out the recyclables. Trash from your home or business is picked up by the local route trucks and taken to one of Republic Services’ three transfer stations in Henderson, Sloan or North Las Vegas where it is dumped. It is then reloaded into large semi-tractor-trailers and transported to the landfill for disposal. By using this system of transfer stations we are able to reduce the number of trucks on the roadways and reduce the traffic trips and ease congestion. We encourage households and businesses to make sure they place recyclables in the appropriate bins. Otherwise Republic Services cannot recycle those valuable materials. The consumers have the important task and responsibility of making sure this happens.

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