Waste diversion at Ski Snow Valley

Last year Maddison Roy, Guest Services Supervisor at Ski Snow Valley made some inroads with waste diversion at the busy ski resort when she asked suppliers to reduce their packaging. In response to her requests, Ski Snow Valley began receiving products from retail suppliers that was wrapped in less plastic and used more condensed packaging.

This year, Snow Valley moved the sustainability dial one step further. A program was started that gives staff the opportunity to purchase a reusable mug which—when used—gives them a deep discount on beverages. In addition, employees are encouraged to power down computers at the end of the day to conserve energy.

The most resource intensive initiative was the resort-wide recycling program. Running since January 01, 2017, 3-stream recycling is collected in the day lodge, and 2-stream collection was adopted for all other areas of the resort. Two-stream collection helps simplify collection and reduces contamination. Staff rooms, offices and areas of the resort not used by customers also have collection bins.

An initiative of this magnitude takes coordination and an investment of time and capital. The first step was to put together a proposal that outlined all the potential costs, the staff requirements, and outlined the logistics of the new waste diversion process.

The steps to get this project off the ground were as follows:

  • Bins needed to be sourced, priced and purchased
  • Placement for bins, roll-away carts and dumpsters had to be confirmed
  • Correspondence with the waste hauler was necessary to confirm the appropriate number of bins, collection frequency and collection requirements
  • Signs needed to be developed and placed on the bins to inform visitors how to correctly separate materials
  • Representative(s) from each department were selected to take on responsibility for making sure collection runs smoothly
  • A schedule for emptying bins and taking material to the dumpsters had to be developed
  • Staff were assigned to collection schedules
  • Training was delivered to ensure the safety of staff collecting material
  • A channel for communication was developed to allow questions and problems to be addressed quickly
  • Daily waste audits needed to be conducted to ensure materials were properly sorted (to reduce contamination charges)
  • Follow up communication with the hauler was (and continues to be) necessary to make sure collection schedules vary to accommodate fluctuating volumes

The next time you are enjoying a day skiing at Snow Valley, make sure you support the efforts of the Snow Valley Go Green Team by making sure you place your waste in the right receptacle.

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