As Earth Day approaches, Disney has been shedding more and more light on the Earth-conscious ways that the Walt Disney Company is committed to helping our planet, helping wildlife, and combating climate change. D23 recently highlighted the best Earth Day content to watch on Disney’s streaming services (including Disney documentaries about farming, rock climbers, and child activists like Greta Thunberg) and now the Disney Parks Blog has shared a special way to be more eco-friendly within Disney Parks!
Disney is apparently focused on being independent of planet-damaging landfills by 2030, with a confirmed goal “to send zero waste to landfills” by that year. One big step towards that goal is a pilot program that’s been happening at Restaurantosaurus within the Animal Kingdom and that involves lot of compost!
According to the blog post, composting is “a natural process where organic matter decomposes and is recycled into a nutrient-rich soil product often used for gardening, farming, landscaping and more”. Many people choose to compost the appropriate leftover food and waste in their own backyards, because it makes for less trash in a world that’s rapidly filling with trash and it can also create wonderful soil for gardening! Composting also keeps the waste out of landfills, where they would release the harmful greenhouse gas methane.
The composting initiative in Restaurantosaurus has meant that the restaurant now has almost 100% compostable dining, including the utensils, cups and plates that Guests use! Guests will notice the third waste bin next to trash and recycling, labeled as a composting bin. Disney is still working on handling issues like user error (i.e. Guests putting the wrong things in the composting bin and contaminating the contents).
The composted material is processed at an external facility, but it’s brought back to the Parks to be used for both the land around the restaurant and the Pollinator Garden at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Across the country, Disneyland Resort has been receiving accolades and certifications for Circle D Ranch, which is the ranch that houses Disneyland horses and has been a “zero-waste facility” for years. The Circle D Ranch just earned a platinum certification through the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, and Circle D staff also compost hay and manure. Apparently the Circle D’s strategy “has even inspired neighbors and nearby residents to participate in the composting program”!
Further afield in Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney waste is processed in a government-run “anaerobic digestion facility nearby” and transformed into energy. Typhoon season also presents a unique challenge for this Disneyland Resort, since many trees are damaged by typhoons and create additional waste. To help with this issue, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort trims its own trees and uses the waste for organic mulch. Apparently “grass clippings, leaves and shrubs” totaling over 40 tons of yard waste are also recycled.
You can learn more about the environmental goals of the Walt Disney Company here!