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Mary Burich, Corporate Communications
Delaware North Companies
Company wins one of four environmental awards for efforts in Yosemite and Yellowstone
BUFFALO, N.Y. (September 2, 2008) - Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, an operating company under the umbrella of global hospitality and food service leader Delaware North Companies, has received one of the four environmental achievement awards given out by the National Park Service this year. Delaware North was chosen for its recycling efforts in Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks.
Through GreenPath®, Delaware North's award-winning environmental management system, Delaware North diverts 38 percent and 34 percent of its refuse from the solid waste stream in Yosemite and Yellowstone, respectively. In Yosemite, under the terms of the largest concessions contract in the National Park Service, Delaware North last year diverted over 1,300 tons of waste (from 34 different categories). The highly successful program, which has been recognized by the California Integrated Waste Board every year for the past 15 years, incorporates recycling, reuse and purchasing practices. Although Delaware North's operation in Yellowstone is much smaller, it nonetheless diverted approximately 138 tons of materials (from 21 different categories) from the solid waste stream.
"Receiving this award is a tribute to the dedication of our associates," said Kevin Kelly, president of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts. "Not only is environmental stewardship an integral component of our operating philosophy, it is a labor of love for all of us who live and work in our national parks."
Some of the elements of the parks' programs are:
- Yosemite has 50 recycling depots throughout the park designed to accept rigid plastics (nos. 1 through 7), all colors of glass and aluminum.
- Along with the 50 drop-off recycling depots available to visitors and park residents, there are Delaware North-staffed recycling centers in Yosemite, where all 34 materials are accepted. "A Guide to Recycling" was developed to encourage residents to recycle. The guide outlines what items are recycled and how to prepare the materials.
- Each of the bottled and canned beverages that is sold in Yosemite and Yellowstone can be redeemed for $.05. The money received from non-redeemed beverage containers helps subsidize the recycling program and other environmental initiatives, such as restoration projects and the removal of non-native plants.
- Yosemite kitchen grease is collected in 55-gallon barrels and stored in a bear-proof building. The barrels are then hauled to Evergreen Biodiesel in Groveland, Calif., where the grease is processed into bio-diesel fuel.
- Not surprisingly, a large portion of the green waste produced in Yosemite is from dead trees or trees that must be removed because they present a hazard. These trees are sold as timber or milled as lumber as projects dictate. In 2007, Delaware North used over 3,000 board feet of cedar to refurbish benches at the Curry Village Amphitheater. The timber that is not marketable is often used as firewood. Chips from these projects are used to control dust on dirt service roads and parking areas, as mulch and to control weeds.
- Associates in Yellowstone have made arrangements for the warehouse trucks that deliver products to its stores to pick up the recycling and then backhaul these materials to the warehouse in West Yellowstone, where they are then collected and sent off to recycling. This backhaul method of recycling saves additional resources such as energy, time, staff and equipment.
- The expanse of Yellowstone presents a challenge in collecting recyclables, so Delaware North has placed more than 400 recycling containers throughout the park.
- When guests ask for gifts to be shipped, there is no bubble wrap in sight. Delaware North in Yellowstone replaced the plastic packing material with a system that uses Kraft paper, a renewable resource that is easily recyclable and is biodegradable. Sometimes packing material is even reused.
While buy-in from all levels of the organization makes GreenPath® successful, documented standards and processes give it staying power. "This is a top-down/bottom-up system," Kelly stressed. "It is flexible, so we can act upon the innovative ideas of our associates, and formal enough to make those ideas part of our operating plan."
About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, a leading hospitality provider with significant experience in hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations. The company's portfolio includes historic properties in North America, such as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks; Asilomar State Beach & Conference Grounds; Tenaya Lodge; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa; Niagara Falls State Park; Jones Beach; Plaza del Pasado in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake; The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel; and Gideon Putnam Resort. To learn more about Delaware North Companies' expertise in the hospitality industry, 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 Banknorth Garden. Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 40,000 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.
Delaware North entered the arena of parks operation in a big way in 1993 following a successful bid for the Yosemite contract. One of the elements that distinguished the company's proposal from the rest was Delaware North's willingness to tackle the daunting and risky project of cleaning up a number of leaking underground storage tanks put in place by a previous concessionaire. That gesture is often cited as the beginning of Delaware North's environmental stewardship platform.
Soon after, it hired an environmental engineering firm to help in the crafting of an environmental management system called GreenPath®. In 2001, Delaware North became the first U.S. hospitality company to have its environmental management system registered to the standards put forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14001). Now a corporate-wide initiative, GreenPath® has been recognized once before by the National Park Service as well as by the Department of the Interior, NASA, the Travel Industry Association of America and internationally through IMEX.