Concessioner separates food waste in kitchens, uses biodegradable dinnerware and packaging in diverting tons of organic waste from going to a landfill
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., September 15, 2011– Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts has received a top 2011 environmental achievement award from the National Park Service (NPS) for initiating a comprehensive composting program for Yosemite National Park.

Delaware North operates Yosemite’s visitor services, including lodging, dining, recreation, retail and transportation services as a national park concessioner. The global hospitality management and food service provider launched the composting program in August 2009 to expand its longstanding recycling efforts at the park.

Through November 2010, Delaware North’s composting initiative diverted 216 tons of organic waste – including food waste and paper products – from Yosemite’s kitchens and restaurants to Mariposa County’s composting facility. That represents about 10 percent of the 2,100 tons of solid waste from Yosemite sent to the landfill during the same period.

“Delaware North’s efforts should serve as a model for other concessioners that have access to local large-scale industrial composting facilities,” NPS said in announcing the award.

The composting program began with four locations – The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Degnan’s Deli and The Loft – and was subsequently expanded to include the kitchens at Curry Village, Village Grill, White Wolf Lodge, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and the High Sierra Camps. In each kitchen, Delaware North placed separate “trash” containers for organics with liners made of compostable materials.

NPS at Yosemite joined the composting initiative in October 2010 by collecting organic waste at its housing complex in Yosemite Valley. Delaware North expanded the program to its housing facilities this past spring.

“The composting initiative is continuing to expand, with the potential to divert 1,400 tons of waste – half of Yosemite’s waste stream – from going to the landfill in the future,” said Deb Friedel, director of sustainability for Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts.

Through its GreenPath® environmental management program, Delaware North has had a successful recycling program at Yosemite since the 1990s but was unable to expand it to include food waste and other organics until Mariposa County’s composting facility began operating in 2006. The company also explored composting onsite at the park, but space limitations and concerns about wildlife breaking into composting tubs prevented that initiative.

Finding adequate replacements for plastic containers and dishware and conventional paper was another challenge for Delaware North’s environmental and supply management managers and its chefs at The Ahwahnee and its other restaurants and food service locations. Delaware North worked closely with Mariposa County to test the ability of alternative plastic and paper products to biodegrade in the composting facility’s vaults, eventually identifying containers made of plant starches, potato starch products for dishware and paper products made with recycled paper.

Delaware North was also able to negotiate a tipping fee of $55 per ton, less than half the normal rate for industrial composting, because its stream of clean organic waste and manure helps the county produce a better composting product.

The hospitality management company worked with its waste hauler at Yosemite, Total Waste Systems of Mariposa, to pick up both garbage and organic waste without increasing the number of trips to Yosemite Valley.

The NPS environmental achievement award is Delaware North’s fourth for its efforts at Yosemite. In 2010 Delaware North was recognized for reducing the Yosemite Transportation System’s petroleum fuel use by using diesel-electric hybrid trams, adopting a vehicle no-idling policy and a ride-share program for employees. The company won an award in 2008 for its recycling programs at Yosemite and Yellowstone National Park and another in 2003 for waste prevention at Yosemite.

For images showing the composting program in action, please email Lisa Cesaro at lcesaro@dncinc.com.

About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is an industry leader providing Stewardship and Hospitality in Special Places SM, with hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations at historic and scenic properties in North America and Australia. The company operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, including The Ahwahnee and other Yosemite lodges; Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite & the Cottages at Tenaya Lodge; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa in British Columbia; Niagara Falls State Park; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio; Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga; Holiday Inn West Yellowstone, Gray Wolf Inn & Suites and Yellowstone Park Hotel; and soon, LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash. The company also owns and operates five luxury resorts in Australia: Lizard Island Resort, Heron Island Resort, Wilson Island Resort, Kings Canyon Resort and El Questro Homestead and Wilderness Park. To learn more about Delaware North Companies’ hospitality management expertise, visit www.experiencednc.com.

About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the world's leading hospitality and food service providers. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Garden. Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 55,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.

# # #


<< Back