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April 20, 2014

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MGM Resorts honored for food recycling

Image

Steve Marcus

Buffet server Ismael Vidales empties food scaps into a yellow recycling bucket at the Mirage buffet kitchen Monday, April 12, 2011. The food scaps will go to feed pigs at R.C. Farms in North Las Vegas.

Recycling - Pig Farm

A pair of young pigs wait for lunch at R.C. Farms in North Las Vegas, April 6, 2011. Pigs at the farm are fed with food scraps recycled from Las Vegas casinos and other businesses. Launch slideshow »

MGM Resorts International was recently honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for being a leader in food waste recycling.

The company received the EPA’s 2011 WasteWise Gold Achievement Award, which recognizes organizations for environmental sustainability efforts. The award is the third MGM has earned for green programs; it also was honored for excellence in glass and paper recycling.

Last year, the company recycled 8,722 tons of food from Las Vegas hotels. The resort group sends its scraps to R.C. Farms of North Las Vegas to feed 3,000 pigs daily and to Denver-based A1 Organics to be turned into compost.

“With millions of people dining each year at our 165 restaurants and 11 employee dining rooms located on the Las Vegas Strip, MGM Resorts is committed to leading the way to reduce our waste to landfill,” said Cindy Ortega, senior vice president of energy and environmental services.

Food scraps are the second largest waste stream in the United States after paper, according to the EPA. More than 34 million tons of food trash is generated nationally every year, with 33 million tons of it — 97 percent — ending up in landfills and incinerators.

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  1. I'm all for feeding the pigs, but can't we relax some of the regulations to allow some of the good food that gets wasted from the buffets to go to the shelters.

  2. "Last year, the company recycled 8,722 tons of food from Las Vegas hotels..." ~16 million pounds of food thrown out! Didn't these people have a mother that told them to 'eat everything on your plate'?

    There is a large gap between the haves and have nots, which is nothing new in the history of the world. When Ireland lost it's potato crop, 1845-1852, over a million people died - simply for the lack of potatoes and not pie ala mode. Yet during that time, a large amount potatoes were being exported from Ireland. Britain did nothing for their subjects.

    Good point from BCDave about diverting some of this to shelters but what prevents that are regulations about 'unfit food'.

    There was a story in the Sun about the health inspectors going to Overton Farm-Food event and requiring the owners to pour chlorine over the vegetables because they were 'unfit'. Disgusting.

    All of the food coming from MGM back door is probably 'unfit' for humans due to a regulatory point of view, but how could that change?

    A small bit of the food, vegetables and fruit sent to pig farms might instead be safely put aside for shelters. That's up to the regulators.

  3. Wow, the EPA giving an award for sending a little wasted food to a PIG FARM! Animal production is a massive polluter.

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/11/16/a...

  4. There's got to be a way to donate to shelters, food from backstage parties at concerts is donated in many cities. I'm with you adam re animal production; sucks up water, land and pollutes water tables.

  5. although sending the food to a shelter seems like a good idea to some.. there is no way to productively separate out all that food to determine what can be salvaged for human consumption. What happens the first time someone gets food poisoning, sick or worse dies from it? They going to sue MGM?.. because that's where it came from. Pigs aren't as sensitive as our digestive systems are.

  6. I believe a large percentage of the 8,722 tons of food the story mentions are food scraps from plates coming back from tables. The waste, especially at buffets, is stunning. While I am sure there are some things that could go to shelters... I suspect the bulk of this is not fit to serve to homeless people.

  7. I believe a large percentage of the 8,722 tons of food the story mentions are food scraps from plates coming back from tables. The waste, especially at buffets, is stunning. While I am sure there are some things that could go to shelters... I suspect the bulk of this is not fit to serve to homeless people.

  8. Companies aren't able to donate to shelters because of the threat of lawsuit if someone gets sick from the food. You know, lawsuis are the "American Way".