Las Vegas, Nevada is in a unique situation that has ample space in their local landfills but still businesses have made efforts in the movement for zero waste. Unlikely leaders on the forefront of this trend are the major Casinos. Las Vegas Casinos have historically been competitive with one another, which has led to cutting out a large amount of waste in upwards of 90%.

Since much of the concerns deal with the amount of trash that is actually brought to landfills, many casinos have begun cutting out the outdated method of trash compacting. Station Casino in particular has cut its number of trash compacters in half since 2004 and implemented a number of productive recycling programs.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation, one of the most popular and profitable casinos in the world plans to cut the amount of waste they send to landfills 50% by 1220. They have also established an industry standard of sending gently used hygiene products from their hotel, such as soap and shampoo, to non-profits around the globe.

MGM Resorts International are notorious for hosting huge trade shows and sporting events at their Mandalay Bay Convention Center and have reported recycling and reusing over 90% from these various events. They hope in the next 3-5 years they are able to reach absolute zero waste from these events. MGM was the first in the Las Vegas area to make the appropriate shift from trashcans to recycling bins. Through these and other major efforts MGM resorts now recycles 40% of their waste and their hotels are in upwards of 60%.

Las Vegas recycling seems to be on cutting edge of the zero waste movement and just as motivated as other progressive areas to reach these goals. The question still remains why would an area with plenty of landfill space be so determined to have better recycling methods? Well let’s remember these are Casinos and they are ultimately out to make a profit.

Many Casinos, such as the MGM have found extra revenue streams within their new recycling methods. Casinos are able to sell their kitchen fats to alternative fuel companies for almost a pure profit. Although, I would like to hope that many of this casinos are initiating this recycling programs out of the goodness of their heart and for the betterment of society but I am sure it helps to be looked at as the eco-friendly casino. Regardless, these progressive actions will result in a better future.