Seven Ways Disney Parks Are Managing Waste with Sustainability in MindSeven Ways Disney Parks Are Managing Waste with Sustainability in Mind
As the whimsical theme parks see an enormous number of guests annually, Disney needs to find ways to stay sustainable and keep its carbon footprint as low as possible.
May 23, 2023
As the summer months draw near, families are gearing up for family vacations and a good percentage of them may end up at the ever-popular Disney properties all over the world. As the whimsical theme parks see an enormous number of guests annually, Disney needs to find ways to stay sustainable and keep its carbon footprint as low as possible.
On average, the four Disney World parks in Orlando, Fla., Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, see approximately 160,000 guests per day (as of 2022). Of course, this is just in one part of the world where Disney operates, but that’s 58.4 million guests that Disney World must account for and that isn’t accounting for its employees.
Obviously, that’s a lot of waste.
Thankfully, Disney is taking plenty of steps to ensure its being smart with the waste produced by guests and its own operations.
One of the biggest draws of Disney Parks, outside its escape from reality, are the signature food options. It’s hard to pass up a Mickey Waffle or Churro while cruising through Tomorrowland but much like everywhere else in the world, Disney Parks deal with a lot of food waste. Luckily, Disney is constantly working on diverting food waste and keeping it in house.
At the Disney World Resort in Florida, food waste from the resort is sent to an off-site commercial composting facility where it is broken down, naturally, and is then recycled into soil used for gardening, farming, and landscaping. In 2021, Disney World composted 15 million pounds of unusable food scraps.
Across the country at the Disneyland Resort, food scraps from preparation in kitchens and uneaten food from guests are collected and diverted from landfills. These scraps are then taken to farms where they, if edible, are fed to the farm animals. Disneyland also takes used cooking oil from the resort’s kitchens and uses it to power all five of its steam trains and even the Mark Twain River boat. This process eliminates about 200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel each year.
Back at Disney World, glass bottles are currently being recycled into sand which will be used to patch up roads and added to animal walking trails. The pulverizer at Disney World can process up to 2,000 pounds of glass per hour.
At Disneyland Paris, the park is partnering with SapoCycle to collect and recycle unused soap from the resort. The partnership has recycled 2.5 tons of soap and has redistributed it to 5,600 households.
Check the gallery for other ways Disney Parks are recycling and preventing waste.