Reducing Waste is a Full Time Job at America’s National Parks

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Reducing Waste is a Full Time Job at America’s National Parks

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations drives innovative recycling and composting programs
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Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 4:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Environmental Sustainability

CONTENT: Press Release

PHOENIX, August 8, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Each year, millions of people flock to America’s national parks, forests and state parks to enjoy our pristine natural resources. Keeping these visitors fed, sheltered and comfortable is a monumental task that normally results in the use of vast amounts of resources and leads to thousands of tons of waste.

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, a leading concessioner of national and state parks and forests, and cultural attractions, has taken the issue of waste head on and diverted nearly three million pounds of waste through recycling, and composting, over the past three years.

Through the company’s Green Thread® program, ARAMARK works to reduce its environmental footprint by developing and implementing long term environmental stewardship programs and policies within the areas of food purchasing; supply chain; building operations; energy and water conservation; transportation and waste management.

“Preserving our natural spaces for future generations is a top priority for us,” says Allison Gosselin, director of environmental sustainability, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations. “Through our on-the-ground environmental stewards, partners and help from guests, we’ve been able to keep 2.8 million pounds of waste from reaching landfills since 2010.”

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations has doubled its landfill diversion rate from 2010. More than half of all food service waste is compostable, and ten ARAMARK Parks and Destinations locations participate in composting programs which recycle this organic waste into nutrition rich soil, that can then be used to grow new plants.  Part of the program’s success is finding unique solutions that address different needs in different areas.

At Lake Crescent Lodge in Olympic National Park, kitchen staff noticed increased bottled beer sales were leading to more glass waste. Working with local breweries, the lodge switched to taps, eliminating four thousand pounds of glass waste in 2012, while providing a superior product to guests.

In Denali National Park, more than 100,000 people take bus tours each year -- each person requiring food and water for the four-12 hour trips. By replacing take out containers with containers that can be recycled, ARAMARK was able to drastically increase its diversion rate. This summer, the company will be encouraging reusable water bottles in lieu of bottled water to further reduce its waste.

In some locations, programs had to be invented where they didn’t exist. A few years ago, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations started the first recycling program in Page, Arizona. The program recycled waste from visitors to Lake Powell and residents of the surrounding community. With the program, ARAMARK diverted more than a million pounds of recyclables last year, a 26 percent increase from 2011. As a result of the success of this program, the city of Page, Arizona has introduced its own program.

At Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, ARAMARK began a composting coalition for the community. The neighboring towns of Monterey and Pacific Grove now have composting available for all restaurants, as a result. Asilomar Conference Grounds routes more than 60 percent of its waste through the coalition’s composting and recycling program.

Beyond increasing diversion rates, ARAMARK is most interested in reducing waste all together. Through better ordering and smarter use of products, the company has been able to reduce food waste by 55 percent at Asilomar Conference Grounds. In the coming months, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations will be extending Asilomar’s method of waste production across all of its properties, with the goal of reducing food waste by 55 percent company wide by October 2013.

Note: ARAMARK uses industry leading software to track waste reduction and recycling in its operations. All savings are approximate and estimated on the best information available.

About ARAMARK Parks and Destinations
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, a division of ARAMARK, delivers authentic and memorable experiences at national and state parks, national forests, specialty hotels, museums, and other tourist destinations throughout the United States.  In partnership with its clients, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations seeks to enhance the guest experience by offering industry leading hospitality, environmental stewardship, recreational, and interpretive programs. For more information on ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and each of its properties, visit and follow us on Twitter @TravelAramark.

ARAMARK delivers experiences that enrich and nourish people’s lives through innovative food, facility, and uniform services. United by a passion to serve, our more than 250,000 employees make a meaningful difference each day for millions of people around the world. ARAMARK is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.  Learn more at or connect with us at and @aramark.

CATEGORY: Environment