Nevada pig farmer relishes part as recycler
Nevada pig farmer relishes role as recycler In a period of life and dining that is fine Bob Combs turns free leftovers into slop for his hogs, lots of which eventually land straight back on Las Vegas gambling enterprises’ buffets.
All you could can not eat, pigs will
In a period of life and fine dining, Bob Combs turns free leftovers from Vegas casino buffets into slop for their hogs, lots of which eventually land back on the buffet lines.
By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Days
Photography and video clip by Michael Robinson Chavez, l . a . Times
Reporting from North Las Vegas, Nevada, Nev.
W ith a happy grin, farmer Bob Combs watches the big vehicle slowly dump its greasy load, a Niagara Falls of yesterday’s kitchen area leftovers that sends off a sickening spray since it splashes into a steel container.
Now a brand new, less finicky clientele awaits 2,500 pigs on Combs’ hog farm, a ramshackle spread of pens simply 10 miles from the resort city’s gleaming resort restaurants. a stench that is nose-insulting the air.
“What smell?” the farmer asks by having a wry laugh. “Ahhhh, that is g d. It don’t bother me. In my experience, it is like walking past a bakery.”
All day every day, Combs oversees a procedure in which the noxious mulch is steamed, washed and culled for such impurities as synthetic bags, champagne containers and, when, a loaded .38-caliber pistol.
After that, it is the right time to ring the hog farm’s supper bell.
For half a century, a long time before the nation’s “green” frenzy, the 72-year-old Combs has recycled not only meals but also cardboard, plastic, scrap iron, outdated milk вЂ” you name it. He’s certainly one of southern Nevada’s most visionary yet controversial business owners and, over time, has serviced just about any casino regarding the Strip.
Each evening, Combs’ three trucks вЂ” with their image of a cart n pig in bib overalls вЂ” come during the backsides of 12 customer gambling enterprises to collect the day’s buffet leavings. By morning, the slop was whisked back again to his 160-acre RC Farms, where it undergoes a sorting and process that is sanitizing devised himself, including heating tanks to meet health codes and a conveyor system to create their work easier.
Pig farmer Bob Combs has been picking right up f d scraps at nevada gambling enterprises and feeding them to his hogs since 1963. During the present building growth, houses were built nearby, prompting resident complaints over the smells from the farm. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles days) More photos
Half a year later on, Combs offers the pigs to middlemen, part of a procedure that eventually lands many back on the casino buffets. It’s really a cycle of life and luxury dining вЂ” 1,000 tons of f d scraps each that pleases the fifth-generation hog farmer month. Combs calls the casinos their cornfields.
The casino buffet company in the last few years has morphed from 99-cent fare to spreads including the “Bacchanal Buffet” at Caesars Palace, where nine kitchen areas serve up to 500 dishes, including rib that is prime king crab, dim amount, roasted Southern Carolina shrimp, chocolate souffle, creme brulee, velvet pancakes and gelato. The leavings still go to Combs and a few recycling competitors in the end.
RC Farms resembles the realm of some artist that is wacky passion is pigs. Porcine images prevail, with hog statues in the front yard as well as on the bonnet of a 1930s farm vehicle. Inside the homely home are pig clocks, glasses and images. The email of Combs’ wife, Janet, is “misspiggycombs.” Chickens вЂ” including a finicky r ster called Henry вЂ” rule the yard alongside rabbits, a peacock and piglets escaped from their pencils.
Combs speaks by having a slur that is slight the vestiges of a car crash twenty years ago. He keeps his sense of humor. Dressed up in a flannel that is blue, jeans and b ts left out by way of a visitor revolted by their smell, he calls a shovel his “pig attitude adjuster.” Riding in their golf cart, he ended a spiel concerning the almost all meals he handles by saying, ” That’s the level of my math вЂ” I got a headache now.”
He likes feed time “when I walk by those pencils and hear ’em eating вЂ” that snorting, squealy sound вЂ” that’s as pretty to my ears as being a babbling br k. I enjoy hear them hogs slop it.”
Pigs line up as a worker at RC Farms shovels out f d which has been steamed, washed and culled for impurities. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles days) More photos
Not everybody feels like that. Throughout the present building growth in North vegas, a suburb of its mammoth namesake, developers surrounded Combs’ farm with rows of residential district housing so close they can see them from the pencils. Residents complain concerning the smell, which after having a spring rain are therefore pungent that two nearby sch ls have the nickname that is same “Pigsty tall.”
Combs’ relationship with the county is tense. Inspectors state the pig farmer has banned them from their premises and protests recycling that is new codes. “He’s contentious, frequently irascible,” said Dennis Campbell, environmental wellness manager for the Southern Nevada Health District. ” we have been wanting to work with him for decades.”
The farmer denies officials that are keeping their land. Recently, he welcomed two animal control officers who turned up unannounced to ask about uncaged pets in the yard. Although he claims he is stayed away from court, Combs acknowledges that answering smell complaints is often a discomfort.
Combs has their defenders, such as for instance casino owner Angelo Stamis, who has done business with him for five years. ” Back within the 1960s, no body had been considering recycling вЂ” simply Bob Combs,” stated the co-owner of Jerry’s Nugget casino in North Las vegas, nevada. “And guess what вЂ” now his philosophy is wildly popular.”