Recycle Camp

2010 was officially the 13th year for Recycle Camp on the playa. Recycle Camp is proud to be a part of the Burning Man Community Services Department, providing a valuable service and education tool to the community of Black Rock City.

Recycle Camp continues to thrive and has grown in numbers in recent years. We had 30 people camping and running Recycle Camp this year; 14 were returning campers from 2009, 12 were first time campers with Recycle Camp and many of those were first time Burners. Additionally, we had 4 Recyclers return after taking some time off, including the original Volunteer Coordinator who was last on the playa in 2002. We had strong day workers, friends and diehards that don’t camp with us but work with us daily at the camp along with the dozens of participants dropping in or being pulled in throughout the event week. The growth of the crew was a concern going into this year; pleasingly we were able to maintain similar levels as 2009 while being able to include everyone that wanted to be a part of the camp. We are planning to maintain these same numbers in 2011.

The camp infrastructure and layout was kept nearly identical as 2009, sometimes it makes sense to go with something when it works. The use of a light tower allowed the crew to work into the night when the temperatures are cooler. First the shade structures went up, then secondary shade installed, domes erected, deck built, the kitchen built, plumbing connected, potable water delivered, carpets laid and we’re ready for the rest of the crew. They set up the bar and the sound system, and added some lighting and décor. The can crusher was next, assembled with new upgrades designed by our new crusher mechanic. The crusher ran smoothly throughout the entire event with zero down time and much acclaim.

We made planned upgrades to our volunteer camping shade this year, purchasing new hardware and wire rope, allowing for continued reuse. We were challenged trying to use bamboo poles, they just didn’t hold up to the climate. We will need to revisit the poles for 2011. We will be looking to acquire some used aluminum poles. It’s all about aluminum.

The bulk bags, known as super sacks, worked very well again this year, by the end of the event, Recycle Camp had filled 27 super sacks with approximately 148,000 aluminum cans, weighing more than 4,700 pounds. The sacks were emptied into a 30-yard container and transported to Earth First Recycling in Reno. The proceeds once again allowed for a donation to the Gerlach School Student Council. A check in the amount of $1,500 was delivered to the school in November. The students of the Gerlach School are extremely appreciative each year to receive this donation which benefits student activities including funding the Prom. Recycle Camp is extremely proud to make this donation possible.

All those involved with Recycle Camp as well as all of the efforts in Black Rock City working to reduce the landfill waste should feel immense pride in a job well done in 2010.

Submitted by,
Paul Schreer