Park City Mountain Resort continues Commitment to Zero by diverting food waste from landfills | ParkRecord.com

Park City Mountain Resort continues Commitment to Zero by diverting food waste from landfills

Vail Resorts launched its Commitment to Zero campaign last summer in an effort to decrease the company's environmental impact. Its goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 is ambitious, and one that requires all of its resorts to do their part.

In a recent report detailing the company's continued push for zero emissions, Park City Mountain Resort announced the rollout of a new program to divert more than 400 tons of waste from landfills. It also plans to continue decreasing its energy consumption.

Tom Bradley, the environmental manager of Park City Mountain Resort, said the resort has been giving pre-consumer waste to a local landscape company, but it now plans to divert all compostable food scraps and other items to a facility in the Salt Lake Valley.

He said it's a big undertaking, which is why the resort intends to roll the program out over time. The resort will need to educate guests and employees about the new process and some infrastructure needs to be implemented. But, Bradley said, the change is exciting.

"The (goals) will be a challenge, but it is important for a company to accept that kind of challenge," Bradley said.

Last year, the resort started reducing its waste by removing wax-lined paper cups for sodas and replacing them with reusable ones. He said his team plans to replace water cups with reusable ones this year, as well.

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Ultimately, Vail Resorts hopes all of its resorts, including Park City Mountain Resort, cease putting waste in landfills by 2030. That is one of the facets of Commitment to Zero.

The other goals are to have net-zero emissions and a net-zero operating impact on forests and habitats by 2030. Park City Mountain Resort spent most of last year attempting to improve its energy efficiency by installing LED light bulbs and new thermostats and improving the efficiency of snow melt systems. The resort ended up decreasing its energy usage by 1 million kilowatt hours per year, Bradley said.

The resort also worked with Rocky Mountain Power to evaluate opportunities to do renewable energy projects to offset electricity usage at the resort.

In the recent announcement, Vail Resorts said it signed a long-term wind energy contract, which is expected to reduce emissions at all of the company's resorts. Vail Resorts also announced that it will be partnering with Eco-Products to supply its resorts with compostable and recycled-content items during the upcoming ski season.

Bradley said it is nice to see Vail Resorts and Park City Mountain Resort stepping up to make a difference. He said many of the resort's employees are passionate about the environment and are in support of the changes made so far.

"One of our core values is to protect our natural resources, so this is right in line with our core values," he said. "Being a leader in all areas is important to us, so being a leader in the environmental space has been a great thing."