Las Vegas Sun

December 7, 2021

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VA hospital project quantifies recycling effort

VA recycling

Ulf Buchholz

Waste not: Michael Wykoff, left, Clark Construction project manager, and Thomas Farrar, senior project manager, install numbers on a sign showing the amount of construction waste generated and recycled at the Veterans Administration Medical Center on North Pecos Road.

Call it bragging rights. Companies building the Veterans Affairs hospital have a sign to show how much of the construction waste is being recycled.

Buildings constructed earlier at the 150-acre medical campus had about 50 percent of their waste recycled, but 90 percent of the waste from the hospital is being recycled.

The VA hospital, 6900 N. Pecos Road, is being built at a cost of $600.4 million. When the project was first announced in 2004, the VA estimated that 245,000 veterans were living in Nevada.

Evergreen Recycling is handling the waste, sorting everything on site at its recycling facility, then shipping the recyclables to purchasers, President Rob Dorinson said. The rest heads to a landfill.

The companies say that this project’s recycling effort will be the first in Southern Nevada to publicly report the volume of materials being recycled.

There are economic benefits to recycling construction waste beyond environmental stewardship.

“If all of the waste went to the landfill, there would be no new jobs created,” Dorinson said.

Not only is waste being recycled on a massive scale, but the Clark and Hunt construction companies working at the site are reusing local materials that otherwise would have ended up in the Apex landfill, said Michael Wykoff, project manager.

For instance, the parking lot was once part of Interstate 15 that has been crushed and reused, he said.

With an expected completion date in 2011, the campus will house a 90-bed hospital, a 120-bed nursing home and a veterans’ benefits office.

The nursing home is expected to be completed this year, Wykoff said.

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