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October 20, 2014

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Convention Center’s recycling rate among nation’s best

Map of Las Vegas Convention Center

Las Vegas Convention Center

3150 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas

More than half of the discarded materials from the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center were recycled in 2009, but the recycling rate of those facilities' building partners helped push the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's green record to among the best in the country among meeting facilities.

The LVCVA board of directors today received a report on last year's convention center recycling efforts. Taryle Spain, director of client services for the LVCVA and leader of the LVCVA "green team," said the Convention Center recovered an estimated 1,253.9 tons of materials from the 2,480.5 tons processed. Cashman Center recovered 9 tons of materials from 16.6 million tons processed.

But the biggest recycling contribution came from building partners like food-service contractor Aramark, communications system contractor Smart City and shipping contractor Federal Express as well as convention services contractors GES and Freeman. The business partners recovered 1,402.8 tons from 1,573.5 tons processed - a 90 percent recovery rate.

The recovery rates are higher by the business partners because they gear specifically to diverting waste from landfills and using recyclable materials while the Convention Center and Cashman must sort through a number of materials that aren't recyclable.

Spain said overall, the LVCVA recovered 2,665.9 tons of materials of 4,070.7 tons processed for a recovery rate of 66 percent. That percentage is well ahead of most of the city's convention rivals and just ahead of the Orlando convention center's reported recycling rate of 65 percent.

The State of Nevada recommends achieving a recycling rate of 25 percent. The LVCVA's recovery goal for 2010 is 70 percent.

Cardboard accounts for most of the recycled materials at LVCVA facilities with 421.7 tons recovered in 2009. That was followed by mixed plastics, 223.3 tons; carpet pad, 173.7 tons; carpet, 169.2 tons; mixed paper, 98.9 tons; miscellaneous metals, 82.9 tons; wood, 58.2 tons; and plastic bottles, 26.2 tons.

Spain said 2009 was the first year that the LVCVA included the recycling efforts of its building partners in its statistics.

The LVCVA's green program began in 1998 with efforts to recycle basic office supplies and paperwork. The program was expanded in 2006 to include materials from the meeting areas and exhibit halls.

In recent years, the LVCVA has increased its environmental visibility by adding signs that call attention to recycling efforts in the Convention Center.

Spain said having an active recycling program is important to the LVCVA because more and more trade show producers are making decisions on where to stage events based on facilities' environmental record. He said a recent survey found that 75 percent of show producers would in the future avoid having events at facilities with poor recycling records.

The LVCVA's recycling efforts give it a discount on trash-hauling services from Republic Services, the board was told.

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