Steamboat honored with industry award for waste reduction

Posted By: The Ski Channel on May 5, 2010 8:41 am

                                             Resort Takes Top Honors For Zero Waste Initiative at NSAA Annual Meeting

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO– May 5, 2010-The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation is the proud recipient of the CLIF BAR Silver Eagle Award for Waste Reduction and Recycling, announced during the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) National Convention this week. The resort was recognized for the newly established Zero Waste Initiative, which promotes composting and recycling at all resort dining establishments.

“We are thrilled to be honored with such a prestigious award from NSAA and CLIF BAR,” said Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “We are continuously working to find new ways to provide the best experience for our guests, while limiting our impact on our natural playground. Our employees are always looking to enhance our environmental efforts, and to be recognized for a unique program such as the Zero Waste Initiative speaks to our staff’s dedication to the surrounding community.”

In 2009 Steamboat Ski Area created the Zero Waste Initiative that focuses on composting for all organic material and paper products, recycling across all Food & Beverage outlets and provides reusable products such as silverware and non-disposable dishes and plates. The resort teamed with the Milner landfill to create a pilot composting program and facility for all of Routt County, and the resort continues to spread the message of waste reduction by working with local community organizations to help them adopt similar Zero Waste programs.

The first year of the Zero Waste Initiative resulted in a 62 percent landfill diversion rate and 73 percent diversion rate from recycling. Steamboat Ski Area hopes to increase these numbers by 5 percent each year until full zero waste is achieved.

“The Zero Waste Initiative was created to limit the amount of waste that enters our landfill, and we aim to do that by educating our guests, locals and employees on how to compost and recycle” sais Liz Wahl, director of Food & Beverage for Steamboat Ski Resort & Corporation, and the vice chair of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. “The education component is equally as important as the reduction results. Our guests are excited to be a part of this program and appreciate our efforts to help limit environmental impact.”

The Zero Waste Initiative includes additional composting, recycling and trash receptacles around the resort, clearly labeled so guests know which part of their meals belongs in what container. Resort staff also stepped up to provide an enhanced experience will minimizing the contamination by bussing tables and dispensing trash appropriately in on-mountain food court facilities.

“The success of our Zero Waste Initiative would not be possible without the efforts of our staff, which accepted this new program with open arms and continue to help educate our guests,” said Diamond.

Established in 1993, the Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize the environmental achievements of ski areas. Each year awards are distributed to members of NSAA, the trade association for ski area owners and operators, representing 329 alpine resorts in North America. Since the awards began Steamboat has won the Silver Eagle award three other times: 2002 for Environmental Education, 1998 for Environmental Excellence in Area Design and 1993 for Recycling. The resort has also been a Silver Eagle finalist in 2003 and 2000, and Golden Eagle Finalist for Overall Environment Excellence in 1994.