2007 Solid Waste Management Plan

2.3 Waste Generation and Recycling
As depicted in Figure 3, the total amount of solid waste disposed in Nevada has steadily increased. The increase in industrial waste disposal shown in 1999 was due to the initial reporting of waste disposed at the Wells Cargo construction and demolition debris landfill in Clark County. Statewide the amount of material diverted for recycling remained somewhat consistent between 10 and 15% until 2003 and 2004 when it increased to 19% and 21%, respectively. This increase is believed to be attributed to the growing demand for recycled materials. While there is significant local variation in recycling rates, Washoe County and Carson City have steadily improved their recycling rates and have consistently met or exceeded the recycling goal of 25%. Clark County's rate has remained below the 25% goal.

Figure 3. Total municipal solid waste plus industrial & special waste and imported waste disposed and diverted in Nevada. Diversion (recycling) data was first reported in 1994.

2.4 Importation
The amount of solid waste imported from out-of-state has increased almost 700% during the period from 1993 to 2005. The Lockwood Regional Landfill, located east of Reno-Sparks in Storey County, has received virtually all of this imported waste. Lockwood, which is owned and operated by Waste Management, Inc., is the regional landfill servicing much of western Nevada, including Washoe, Storey, Lyon, Douglas and part of Churchill County. In addition, Lockwood receives waste from several areas in California, including the Lake Tahoe Basin, the northern Sierra corridor and the City of Sacramento (Figure 6). The amount of waste imported presently accounts for about 10% of the municipal solid waste disposed in Nevada. This amount currently represents less than 1% of the waste generated in California.

There is a potential for a significant increase in importation of solid waste into Nevada. Although the Apex Landfill is not currently receiving imported waste, it is privately-owned (Republic Services of Southern Nevada) and positioned on a rail line, making future importation a viable enterprise. Apex's estimated life under the current permit is in excess of 40 years, and Republic owns additional acreage at the site that would allow for further expansion. The Crestline Landfill, located in Lincoln County near Panaca, is also privately-owned and positioned to receive rail-hauled waste. Crestline is currently operating as a Class II landfill serving the very modest disposal needs of Lincoln County, yet the facility has obtained a Class I permit (660 acre disposal area) to receive a large volume of solid waste per day once lined disposal cells are constructed and financial assurance for closure is demonstrated. In 2004 the Crestline Landfill was purchased by NORCAL Waste Systems, Inc., a solid waste management company with operations in California. It remains to be seen when, or whether, NORCAL will obtain contracts for waste importation and disposal that would justify the landfill's expansion to a Class I facility. In 2006, the Rawhide Landfill was permitted as a Class I disposal site on the former Rawhide-Denton Mine site. The mine's open pit and peripheral surface area will be utilized for municipal solid waste disposal. The Rawhide Landfill is owned by Nevada Resource Recovery Group (NRRG) of Nevada.

The NDEP has received notice of additional large municipal solid waste landfills being proposed in northern Nevada; though formal applications have not yet been submitted. These large scale landfill proposals have been welcomed by the local communities as a potential source of local government revenue. Other rural municipal governments have shown interest in developing their own commercial waste disposal facilities. The City of Fallon recently increased its permitted disposal rate at the Russell Pass Landfill, while both the City of Elko and Humboldt County have sought to expand landfill capacity beyond the needs of the local communities. These efforts to gain new landfill capacity present the potential for significant importation of out-of-state waste. Whether the potential for large-scale importation is realized or not depends on the regional market for solid waste disposal, the availability of disposal capacity in the region, and the feasibility of individual projects. Imported waste is generally "dead waste" which has already been stripped of any value/recyclables before it gets to Nevada. Whether waste importation is seen by Nevadans as an opportunity for economic development or as exploitation of Nevada resources by other states, recognition of this potential enterprise may require the re-evaluation of the State's landfill regulatory program and its implementation.

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