Recycling from the Top of The Canyons

By Kendall Apr 13, 2009
Recycling from the Top of The Canyons

With the season ending at a few of Utah's resorts, it made me think about what is left when the snow melts. You'd be surprised what can be found at the resort. I once found an iPod midway up Alta in June, lying in the mud. Amazingly it still worked and after contacting all of the people who had reported a lost iPod on the hill turned up fruitless I was stoked with a "new iPod".

But aside from the occasional jackpot comes a lot of garbage too, unfortunately. As I've walked around the resorts in the summer it's surprising how much of the discarded garbage could be recycled.

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This past winter all three resorts in Park City had recycling on their mountain tops, but perhaps The Canyons has the most challenging program of all because of its size.

Read more about how The Canyons Resort expanded recycling to the top of the mountain this winter by clicking below.

Written by Lola at Recycle Utah:

Recycling is an amenity for the 21st century and The Canyons has jumped into the need for on-mountain skier recycling with both feet (skis). The Canyons expanded its recycling program from the base to the top of the mountain as of this past December.

“We recycle all materials except for glass,” said Dana Kent, Mountain Operations Manager at The Canyons. “Most of the material on the mountain is aluminum, plastic, paper and cardboard. Skiers and boarders love it and we’ve collected 25,000 pounds of material since January 1st.”

Skiers and boarders have noticed educational messages on the recycling receptacles in the Red Pine Lodge and the skier mazes of various lifts. A “recycling factoid” appears on the side of each recycling bin at The Canyons. “Recycling ten plastic soft drink bottles can make the fiberfill for one ski jacket,” reads one example.

The biggest challenge is recycling in a mountain resort as big as The Canyons, Kent says. The largest resort in Utah, The Canyons is comprised of eight peaks and more than 3700 acres.

Logistics have become more systematic as the winter progresses, says Kent. “The Food Cat (the snow cat that transports restaurant supplies) brings food up every night,” she explained. “That’s 100 boxes a night. The chefs and food commissary folks break down the cardboard and bring it down the mountain themselves or place it in the cardboard bin at the Red Pine Lodge. We’ve cut trash hauling by more than half from Red Pine – it’s mostly recycling now.”

The Canyons Resort is working to develop an environmental culture.We have a system of operations staff and conscientious volunteers who move recyclables off the mountain", Kent explained. “We also have a Green Team who make suggestions and environmental changes.
The Canyons management make a concerted effort to communicate the importance of environmental consciousness to the entire staff and have made green initiatives in other areas as well.

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“Snow cats run on biodiesel and rest rooms are stocked with recycled-content paper towels,” said Kent, adding that The Canyons Resort purchases 22 per cent of their electrical power from Blue Sky®, the wind power purchase program offered by Rocky Mountain Power.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” concluded Kent. “Next year we hope to branch out to recycle in even more on-mountain locations and even more condos and hotel rooms.