2007 Solid Waste Management Plan
2. Statewide Trends in Solid Waste Management
Implementation of more stringent State and Federal landfill regulations in the 1990's drove the regionalization of the solid waste collection and disposal infrastructure. Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of municipal landfills before and after the implementation of the more stringent standards. More than 100 small, rural, open dumps have been closed in favor of regional municipal landfills and the associated network of transfer stations and public waste storage bins. The map in Appendix 4 of this Plan illustrates the distribution of the solid waste infrastructure within Nevada in 2007.
Figure 1. Distribution of municipal and industrial solid waste landfills in Nevada in 1992 and in 2006. Over one hundred landfills were closed in Nevada between 1992 and 2006 as a result of consolidating the solid waste infrastructure to regional landfills, transfer stations, and waste storage bins.
The relative size of currently operating landfills range from very large to extremely small and generally correspond with the distribution of the State's population (Figure 2). Two landfills receive roughly 90% of the waste disposed of in Nevada: the Apex landfill serving the Las Vegas valley, and the Lockwood Landfill serving primarily the Reno-Sparks area. Both of these landfills are privately owned and operated. Apex is Nevada's largest landfill and ranks as one of the largest municipal landfills in the nation (based on annual tonnage of solid waste received for disposal), receiving over 11,000 tons of solid waste per day on average. One of Nevada's smallest landfills is the Goldfield landfill, which serves a population of less than 1,500 people in Esmeralda County. The Goldfield landfill receives about 3 tons of solid waste per day on average.
Figure 2. Daily disposal rate at permitted municipal landfills (averaged over 365 days).
In general, most of Nevada's landfills have disposal capacity well into the future. The NDEP has encouraged municipalities to plan for and take measures to assure adequate future landfill capacity. Appendix 2 provides a summary of active municipal waste landfills including their capacities and projected closure.
2.2 Collection and Transport
Solid waste collection has changed in two important respects. First, bi-weekly collection of recyclables at single-family homes became available in Clark, Washoe, and Carson City Counties pursuant to the municipal recycling program requirements that were adopted in 1991. The second change was the establishment of an extensive network of transfer stations and rural public waste storage bin facilities from which waste is hauled, at least weekly, to regional landfills. The waste collected at the transfer stations or public waste storage bin facilities is transported in covered roll-off or waste transfer trucks to the landfill. Waste is often transported over County lines to a regional landfill. A few of the public waste storage bin facilities in Clark, Washoe and Storey counties have attendants and charge disposal fees, but most of the waste storage bin facilities are unattended and are maintained at the county's expense, either directly or through a county contractor. Transfer station and public waste storage bin facility locations are listed below and shown on the map in Appendix 4.
Clark: Cheyenne (North Las Vegas), Henderson, Sloan
Lyon: Fernley, Smith Valley, Sutro (Dayton), Yerington
Washoe: Incline Village, Reno, Stead
Public Waste Storage Bins
Clark: Searchlight, Sandy Valley, Mt. Charleston, Moapa Valley
Elko: Tuscarora, Wells, Midas, Jarbidge, Montello, Carlin, Pilot Valley
Esmeralda: Fish Lake Valley, Silver Peak
Eureka: Crescent Valley
Humboldt: Kings River, Orovada, Paradise Valley, Denio
Lincoln: Rachel, Alamo, Hiko, Panaca, Pioche, Dry Valley, Caliente, Ursine
Nye: Beatty, Amargosa Valley, Belmont, Manhattan
Pershing: Grass Valley, Unionville, Imlay
Storey: Virginia City
Washoe: Gerlach, Empire
Subject to franchises awarded by the municipalities, Waste Management, Inc. and Republic Services of Southern Nevada (Republic) collect nearly all of the municipal waste in the urban areas of Reno and Las Vegas, respectively. About 15 smaller companies provide waste pickup to businesses and residences throughout the rest of the State. The municipal governments of Fallon, Gardnerville, Minden, and Caliente operate their own garbage collection services. Residential collection service costs are between $11 and $12 per month in Clark, Washoe and Carson City. In rural counties the range is wider, between $5 and $19 per month. In sparsely populated areas of the State, such as Esmeralda County, residents must haul their own waste to the nearest landfill or public waste storage bin.