The Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International, also known as the 2020 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup, was held at Deer Valley Resort February 6 – 8, 2020. One of the components of this annual event is the Hospitality/VIP tent, which features gourmet food and beverages as well as a prime viewing area for the sponsors, athletes, community partners and those who purchase Freestyle Feast tickets. Deer Valley’s Sustainability team’s goal this year was to divert as much waste as possible from the VIP tent.
Months of planning by the Sustainability team took place, which included assistance from Deer Valley’s Food and Beverage division in making very conscious purchasing decisions and providing only compostable and recyclable options in the tent. All coffee cups, dishware, flatware and napkins were compostable and the cold beverage cups and optional coffee lids were recyclable.
The tent, which served 2,400 guests throughout the three-nights of the event, had six recycling and composting stations in place around its border. Compost and recycling bins were also set up in the kitchen and volunteer areas of the tent. Accompanying signage indicated what could go into each bin, using both words and photographic images. Naturally, there were some mix-ups but Julie Schultz, resort sustainability manager, and Madelyn Carter, sustainability coordinator, along with Heather Currie, director of public policy at Wild Harvest Farms, assisted in directing and sorting each waste stream.
Deer Valley® worked closely with Recycle Utah, Republic Services and Wild Harvest Farms to divert every possible material that was in the VIP tent. Overall, 235 wine bottles, 1,632 beer cans, more than 2,000 soda cans and water bottles, 380 pounds of cardboard, 1,665 gallons of compost (including food waste and wares), and one massive bag of soft plastics were diverted from the landfill.
“I can’t thank all of our amazing staff members enough, this was truly a team effort,” said Sous Chef Hazel Van Heck.
Additional efforts related to the event included some astounding stats. Over 1,300 plastic water bottles were eliminated from the waste stream because event volunteers were encouraged to bring reusable water bottles and use the water refill stations that were installed at key locations throughout the venue. Over 2,000 spectators utilized the free, city-wide bus transit system to access the event. They were rewarded for doing so by event volunteers who handed out incentives to each rider.
The entire event produced by Deer Valley was focused on sustainability. Eight four-yard recycling containers were filled with recyclable materials during the three-day period.The Sustainability team learned so much, raised awareness, and even had fun dumpster diving every night to make sure that waste items were properly diverted. Next year, their goal is to divert even more waste from our local landfill.