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Vegas at Bottom in Recycling: Experts Say there are Many Ways to Improve

August 24, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is a loser when it comes to recycling: In a 2009 ranking, the city finished next-to-last. However, experts say Nevadans could do better if they were aware of all their options.

Everybody knows what it means to recycle, but recycling professional Amy Hock points out there are really different cycles to recycling, like pre-cycling, free-cycling, up-cycling, down-cycling and e-cycling.

For example, if Nevadans heading out to shop decide to limit purchases to just what they need, that's called pre-cycling.

"Buy what you need and use what you buy. That is a way of pre-cycling: thinking before you make a purchase. Free-cycling is the term for when you give items away instead of throwing them away."

Up-cycling means creating useful items from recycled material. Down-cycling is reusing a product for an alternative lesser-quality purpose to keep it out of the landfill. E-cycling refers to the recycling of electronics.

Hock says these green cycles can help Nevadans save money and make for a healthier environment. All you really need to recall are the 3 Rs, she explains.

"Just keep remembering three words: reduce, reuse and recycle. Those three words can go a very long way."

Any of the cycles of recycling can be used at home, school, office - wherever you find yourself, Hock adds - to keep material out of landfills.

Fresno California came in first in the "Men's Health Magazine" ranking of cities with best residential recycling practices; Las Vegas was ranked 99 out of 100.

More information on recycling rankings is available at www.menshealth.com.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV