Near Super Bowl LVIII, a posted sign shows why Las Vegas is, uh, different

Sign, Nevada State Recycle, Las Vegas

Here’s more evidence that Las Vegas, host in less than two weeks to Super Bowl LVII, is, uh, different than other places. A sign posted prominently by the front door of Nevada State Recycle, one of Las Vegas’s leading recyclers of electronic and other items, lists material that won’t be accepted. The roster starts out rather unsurprisingly–asbestos, raw sewage, contaminated soil, radioactive waste, septic tank pumpings, etc.

Then–almost as an afterthought–there is the final entry at the bottom of what Nevada State Recycle won’t take, in red print, no less:

“Stolen items.”

Yes, in Las Vegas, folks have to be told they can’t get just ditch purloined property–maybe to get rid of the evidence–by handing it to a business establishment that doesn’t pay for donations. You can see the sign in the nearby photo.

As it turns out, stolen property is a big problem around Sin City. According to statistics compiled by, mainly using FBI data, roughly 3% of all Las Vegas residents were victims of a property crime in the latest reporting year. This was about 55% worse than the national rate of 2% of the population. The FBI defines a property crime as the unlawful taking of property (including money, as in pickpockets) without the use or threat of force. Stolen cars account for about one-seventh of the total.

Undoubtedly, thefts from tourists visiting Las Vegas skew the national comparisons a bit, as they aren’t included in the population base used to calculate crime rates. But they aren’t anywhere else, either. Overall, it’s not a good look.

I encountered the Nevada State Recycle sign yesterday afternoon in dropping off my analog Samsung television set manufactured in 2000 (the year of Super Bowl XXXIV, when the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans, 23-16). The TV was purchased in Albuquerque, where I lived long before becoming New To Las Vegas, for $359.28 (yes, I keep track of stuff).

At Nevada State Recycle, I wasn’t asked for ownership proof of my TV, so old it had a built-in VCR deck and so worthless I had to pay $20 to unload it. But in light of the sign I did ask the staff whether they screen for “stolen items.” The impression I was left with: not much. I suppose that’s mainly because there isn’t a good way to do it, and most of what comes in is junk, anyway. But to me the written admonition is startling, even if it partly might be the product of excessive lawyering.

Nevada State Recycle sits in a desolate industrial area just five miles north of Allegiant Stadium. That’s where the big game will be played on February 11 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, apparently with Taylor Swift jetting in from Asia among the 72,000 or so attendees. For all visitors, you are now on notice.

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Near Super Bowl LVIII, a posted sign shows why Las Vegas is, uh, different — 2 Comments

  1. Anonymous, not so sure. Stated prohibition on “putrescible waste” might cover bodies in barrels. “Putrescible”–a big word for many Las Vegans–means “liable to decay.”

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