At Xanterra Travel Collection® we strive to develop the most environmentally sound resort operations. Which is why we’ve implemented landfill diversion programs. We have many landfill diversion programs that help reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills. This is our latest program:
Identification: We identified a waste stream within our Food & Beverage Department: shriveling and unwanted apples, carrots, melon rinds, broccoli stalks & other cruciferous vegetables, lettuce and other suitable fruits and vegetables.
Solution: We then began collecting these food scraps at all operating kitchens at the South Rim and donating them to our hungry, hard-working mules. This solution not only reduces food waste in kitchens and increases our property’s landfill diversion rate towards our 50%.
Implementation: Five-gallon buckets are placed in our kitchen coolers for mule food scrap collection. Once full, we record the weight of the scraps and deliver the mule treats to the Main Barn. Sometimes we get enough to fill our Bobcat full of treats!
Averaged weight: As of April 14, 2014, 7,975.1 pounds, or 3.9 tons of food waste has been successfully diverted from landfills and into the mules’ happy tummies! Studies have also shown that a varied diet increases cerebral development for mules. We like to think this contributes to a longer and healthier life for our famous Grand Canyon mules. To close the loop on this waste stream, mule manure is collected and hauled away for composting, enriching the farmland and gardens of Flagstaff, Arizona. In 2013, we composted 1.4 million pounds of mule manure.