Dover Downs Hotel and Casino is seeing green.
The Delaware casino announced Monday its plans to start composting food waste, making it the first casino on the East Coast to do so.
“If you talk to anybody about conservation efforts, of course there’s a component of doing the right thing, good corporate citizen, but I’d be lying if I told you there wasn’t an economic development too,” said President of Dover Downs, Ed Sutor.
Sutor says a dramatic spike in landfill tipping fees prompted him to look into cost-saving measures and calculated that composting saves the casino more than $2,000 in tipping fees.
“The biggest component of our trash is the weight of food,” said Sutor. “So it worked out for both sides. We have less tonnage, it’s saving us money, and it goes to composting, which is going to be recycled into the environment.”
Dover Downs’ trash hauler, Waste Management, will transport the nearly 50 tons of food waste to The Peninsula Compost Group in Wilmington. Waste Management is an investor in the organic recycling center.
The now certified green hotel and casino has also taken other steps towards energy efficiency, including 26-thousand newly-installed energy saving light bulbs and water saving faucets and toilets, styrofoam containers have been replaced with eco-friendly ones and Dover Downs is even using “green” chemicals for cleaning.
“In these tough times, you have to do whatever you can to save money. And fortunately if you’re paying attention to your recycling and other environmental things — cutting back on electric usage, gas usage — all that’s environmentally good, but also saves the company money,” Sutor said.
Sutor hopes other companies in the community will see what his casino is doing and be inspired to follow suit.