Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recycle plastic bags?

Items such as plastic bags, plastic wrap, tire chains, and rope can get tangled in the gears of the recycling sorting machinery.  Any items that can tangle machinery should not be placed into the recycling bin because of the damage that they can cause to the equipment, regardless of what material they are made from.  Instead, you can recycle plastic bags at collection sites often located at grocery, hardware and other stores. 

What is single stream recycling?

Single stream recycling is when all recyclable materials are collected commingled instead of seperated out by material (glass, plastic, etc.) from the consumer. The commingled materials then arrive at the materials recovery facility and is seperated out by workers or machinery and baled together.  The baled materials are sold to different recycling markets. 

How do I report illegal dumping?

Don't Trash Nevada has information about reporting illegal dumping for Clark County. For Washoe County, the Sheriff's Office has an app available to download. Use the app to take a picture and the Sheriff's Ofiice will do the rest. If you live outside of Washoe or Clark counties, contact your local Sheriff's Office.

Are recycling services available for apartment complexes?

Yes, Waste Management in Northern Nevada and Republic Services in Southern Nevada offer recycling services for apartment complexes. However, it is up to the property manager to set up contracts with the recycler. Talk to your property manager about introducing a recycling program in your complex. 

Why doesn't Nevada have a bottle and can refund program, like California?

Though the legislature has considered it, a bottle bill has not been passed in Nevada. Bottle bills allow for the refund of a fee paid with the purchase of a beverage in a bottle or can. It is still possible to receive payment for empty beverage containers, particularly aluminum containers, in Nevada based on the value of the material. 

How can my community get improved and expanded recycling services?

Let your elected community leaders know that this is important to you by writing, calling, or attending city council meetings. There are also grants available to assist in improving recycling programs. See our Grants page for more information.  

Why can't I recycle any item with a recycling symbol on it?

Different locations have different recycling abilities because some materials may be cost prohibitive to recycle. This is especially true for materials with low value, low demand, or composed of multiple materials. The number inside the recycle triangle on plastics is the plastic resin code. Plastics marked with a resin number 1 &2 are the most valuable and most recyclable. Check with your program to see what materials are accepted. When in doubt leave it out of the recycling bin. Most curbside programs do not accept plastic film or plastic bags as these materials get caught in the machinery at sorting centers or materials recovery facilities. 

How do I dispose of an American Flag?

There are several organizations that can properly dispose of your flag: American Flag Recycling, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America.

I have another question about recycling.  Who can I contact?

Give one of our recycling coordinators a call on the NDEP Recycling Hotline at 1-800-597-5865.  We are here to help answer whatever questions you have!