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US – MGM praised for food recovery efforts

By - 9 March 2015

MGM Resorts International has been recognised by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its outstanding efforts in food recovery.

The entertainment and hospitality company received two national Food Recovery Challenge awards for reducing food waste and, in the process, conserving natural resources.

“MGM’s zero waste leadership has turned mountains of food scraps into compost to help fight waste and climate change,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
MGM Resorts and MGM Grand Las Vegas are two of the 32 recipients who received the 2014 Food Recovery Challenge Award, and the only recipients in Nevada. The award was given for achieving the highest percentage of potentially wasted food diversion and prevention.

Senator Harry Reid’s office also issued a certificate of recognition to the company for leading food recovery efforts in Nevada. Officials from the EPA and Sen. Reid’s office presented these honors to MGM Resorts representatives in a ceremony at ARIA Resort & Casino. A behind-the-scenes tour of the resort’s food recovery program was also given.

The EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge partners with organizations and businesses to prevent and reduce wasted food. The participants include groups such as grocers, educational institutions, sports and entertainment venues, restaurants and hotels. The program saves money, helps communities reduce hunger, and protects the environment by purchasing less, donating extra food and composting.

“Food recovery is an important part of reducing environmental impact in Nevada and across the nation,” said Chris Brophy, Vice President of MGM Resorts’ Corporate Sustainability Division. “Preserving our resources and diverting waste from landfills is essential to our future and the communities in which we operate.”

MGM Resorts’ 13 Las Vegas resorts diverted a total of 25,398 tons of food from landfill to compost, a 50 percent increase over 2012. Composting this food instead of diverting to a landfill conserved the equivalent of more than 50,300 gallons of gasoline.

To achieve this milestone, MGM Resorts’ has dramatically increased food scrap composting rates in guest dining facilities, turning inedible food scraps into a valuable soil amendment and animal feed. In addition, these practices have been implemented in MGM Resort’s employee dining rooms, which serve more than 40,000 meals each day at no cost to employees.

MGM Grand Las Vegas received a second Food Recovery Challenge Award in the individual Hotel, Resort and Lodging Facility Category for diverting 5,384 tons of food scraps to compost in 2013, an increase of 161 percent over 2012.

In 2012, Americans threw away nearly 35m tons of food; that’s more than any other type of material being land-filled. As wasted food decomposes in a landfill, it generates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that wasted food costs America more than $165bn annually and that the average family of four throws away $1,600 worth of food each year.

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