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August 28, 2014

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Henderson company donates 4 benches made from recycled beer bottles

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Dylan Scott

Clark County Liaison Tiffany Hesser, North Las Vegas Councilman Richard Cherchio, Las Vegas Sustainability Officer Thomas Perrigo and Henderson Councilwoman Kathleen Boutin test the park benches made of “green-stone”, a mixture of recycled materials, donated to their respective institutions on Tuesday by Realm of Design, a local construction firm focused on sustainability. Scott McCombs, founder of Realm of Design and inventor of green-stone, surveys his handiwork.

Realm of Design Park Benches

Clark County Liaison Tiffany Hesser, North Las Vegas Councilman Richard Cherchio, Las Vegas Sustainability Officer Thomas Perrigo and Henderson Councilwoman Kathleen Boutin test the park benches made of Launch slideshow »

Map of Realm of Design

Realm of Design

1188 Center Point Drive, Henderson

With a few trash bins full of discarded beer bottles retrieved from the Luxor and Mandalay Bay -- weighing more than a ton in all -- Scott McCombs and his team at Realm of Design crafted four park benches, which he donated on Tuesday to the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, and Clark County.

The donations coincided with the completion of the company’s Henderson factory, near the corner of American Pacific Drive and Stephanie Street, which was built with recycled goods. The material is called “green-stone,” a mix of crushed glass and recycled cement that McCombs invented.

McCombs and representatives from the cities and the county took the opportunity to remind the valley that sustainability efforts sometimes take unusual forms.

“There are alternative things that can be done that can become a part of the community,” said McCombs, who founded Realm of Design in 1991. The company designs and produces “architectural elements” and manufactures green-stone. “People can see it. They can feel it. They can touch it.”

Clark County plans to install the bench in Sunset Park, Tiffany Hesser, liaison for Commissioner Steve Sisolak, said. North Las Vegas will put its bench in the atrium at City Hall, said Councilman Richard Cherchio.

Earlier this year, McCombs teamed up with Evergreen Recycling to use leftover construction materials from the CityCenter site, as well as glass bottles from the Luxor and Mandalay Bay, to jumpstart his green-stone idea.

Each bench contains almost 1,200 pounds in beer bottle remains—about $53,300 in retail value, at casino prices, of course.

Glass takes more than 4,000 years to decompose in a landfill, McCombs said, citing the principles behind his efforts. The factory itself, built to resemble the Swarkestone Hall Pavilion in England, site of one of the Rolling Stones’ most famous photo shoots, used more than half a million beer bottles and 200,000 pounds of recycled cement during its construction.

Realm of Design’s motto comes from “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Rob Dorinson, president of Evergreen Recycling, praised McCombs for “closing the loop” of glass waste and said sustainability “creates jobs with a sustainable conscious.”

“You’ve set a great example for future companies,” he told McCombs.

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