Ask Joe: What happens to all those rib bones?

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 9/01/2014 6:28 pm

The Best in the West Rib Cook-off wrapped up on Monday, and one of our viewers has a question about the event and the trash it generates.

Cydni Oldham in Sparks wrote in asking what happens to the bones from the rib cook-off every year? Her question is do they simply get sent off the landfill?


It is a great question, considering they serve up 230,000 pounds of ribs during the annual Rib Cook-off. A lot of the trash does end up in the landfill, but Joe did some research and found that a few years ago, the Nugget started a new effort to recycle more of what gets thrown away.

All of the trash from the VIP area, the Rib Village, ends up getting composted. The plates, cups, utensils and napkins used in that section of the event are all made of compostible materials, and each day, the food waste, which includes all of the rib bones and those other materials, are hauled off to a site in the Carson Valley, where they are turned into compost.

So it is only a portion of the overall garbage that is created during the event. But it does seem to be successful and it is one way of keeping some of that garbage out the landfill.
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Kramer - 9/2/2014 4:59 PM
0 Votes
Another feel-good reply from Smoky joe. What about all the recyclable cans and bottles litering the area and stuffed into receptacles? Are these just a cash cow for Sparks? I doubt if this bagged-up greasy mess is gleaned much. The bones could be ground into meal and used for fertilizer, mad cow, roadfill, eh wot?

kdavis52 - 9/2/2014 12:10 PM
0 Votes
Am I the only one thinking that the discarded beef ribs could have been taken to the dog pound? Strip most of the meat off so there's no sugary stuff left so the pups/dogs could enjoy something other than corn filled dog food?

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