Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Supporting the Kalispel Tribe's Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

To support the Kalispel Tribe's commitment to environmental stewardship, Northern Quest Resort & Casino leadership engaged Resource Synergy to determine how to reduce waste and conserve resources. After conducting a comprehensive waste characterization and analyzing results, Resource Synergy recommended that Northern Quest begin by implementing a property-wide compost and food waste reduction program. Since Northern Quest was paying for trash disposal by weight, shifting heavy food waste from the trash to cheaper compost containers would not only save money but make good use of all that organic matter.

Masselow’s Steakhouse, a fine dining restaurant in the hotel, kicked off the compost program in November 2018. In subsequent months, additional kitchens and venues also applied the practice, including EPIC, River’s Edge Buffet, the Banquets kitchen, the in-house bakery, and the employee dining kitchen. All team members participate in the compost efforts, from prep and line cooks to the front-of-house staff.

As of summer 2019, Northern Quest is collecting about 30 tons of compost per month, a figure that should continue to rise as the property completes program implementation. Instead of sending tons of food waste and paper products to be burned at the waste-to-energy facility, now 60,000 pounds per month of organic matter are being recycled by Barr-Tech Composting as a nutrient-rich soil amendment for local farms. To bring everything full circle, many of Northern Quest's venues purchase food from the same farms that used their kitchen compost to grow their produce!

In addition to composting, the collaboration between Maintenance, Housekeeping and Food & Beverage helped turn cardboard into a revenue generator. Instead of continuing to use cardboard compactors, Northern Quest purchased a cardboard baler and is selling about ten tons of cardboard each month.

The continued success of Northern Quest’s sustainability is truly a team effort. Composting and cardboard are just the beginning of a comprehensive sustainability program that will include efforts to recycle glass, metal, plastic and to investigate water and energy efficiencies. By working together and sharing the commitment to sustainability, Northern Quest and the Kalispel Tribe will continue to see monetary impact and benefits to its team members, guests and the local environment.

Spokane County Campus

Cementing its Position as a Regional Sustainability Leader

Spokane County was already leading many of the Inland Northwest's sustainability initiatives, yet its leadership wanted to do even more by providing desk-side recycling to each of the nearly 1,300 employees at its downtown Spokane campus while also optimizing waste services and exploring composting opportunities.

Resource Synergy began its partnership with Spokane County with a waste characterization to identify waste prevention and diversion opportunities. Analysis revealed that over half the contents of the campus' two compactors were either mixed recyclables or food waste. It also revealed that the county's waste services were in need of optimization, leading to significant savings out of the gate.

Next, the Resource Synergy team installed recycling bins at 1,278 desks throughout campus including at the Courthouse, IT, Human Resources, Juvenile Detention, and Public Works and Public Safety buildings. In addition to engaging hundreds of employees at their desks, Resource Synergy also gave nearly a dozen presentations at various staff meetings.

All told, Resource Synergy's program increased mixed recycling collection on campus by a whopping 500%. That's 15-20 yards per week, or the equivalent of 400 truck beds full of paper, plastic, metal and glass each year!

In addition to strong financial savings that can be realized into perpetuity, Spokane County provided recycling to hundreds of employees, made strides toward future compost and food waste reduction opportunities, and cemented its position as a regional sustainability leader.

The Heart Institute

Increasing Brand Value in a Competitive Market

Medical facilities produce a lot of waste, and it's often surprising how much of that volume is actually recyclable. Until September 2016, The Heart Institute in Spokane was filling a four-yard trash compactor three times per week, yet 42% of that waste could have been recycled. That much unnecessary waste not only impacts the environment, but it hurts an organization's bottom line.

The property manager and the Heart Institute team wanted to make changes, but in a hectic work environment there was always something more urgent on their agenda. Resource Synergy was able to quickly identify waste-reduction needs and solutions, and expedite the implementation process to achieve significant results in a matter of weeks.

The collaboration with Resource Synergy began with a waste characterization to identify waste prevention and diversion opportunities. Next, Resource Synergy developed a customized strategy and implemented it over the course of two days. Each clinic had a slightly different protocol and culture, so brief on-site conversations were conducted with each practice manager to ensure that proper bins, signage and training were delivered. A special priority was placed on continuing to secure sensitive HIPAA documents and hazardous materials.

Resource Synergy's program more than doubled The Heart Institute Building's recycling volume and reduced trash by 1/3. With a total waste cost savings of 32%, the program not only paid for itself but also delivered a positive impact to the facility's bottom line.

More than 350 recycling bins and mini-hanging baskets were deployed throughout The Heart Institute. In total, Resource Synergy educated over 200 employees in 7 unique clinics and administrative offices.

In addition to strong financial savings, The Heart Institute's recycling program visually communicates its organization's sustainability commitment to patients, staff and the greater Spokane community.

The Paulsen Center

Delivering Added Value to Tenants

Large office buildings can produce a lot of waste. Until Spring 2016, The Paulsen Center was filling a five-yard trash compactor twice a week. That much waste had a notable impact not only on the environment, but on the bottom line of the building’s operations.

The Paulsen Center made changes, but they knew there had to be something more they could do. Resource Synergy raised recycling as not only a way to help the environment, but also save money and create jobs at the same time.

The Paulsen Center brought in Resource Synergy to implement a major overhaul of their recycling and waste system. While the planning and follow-up process took two months behind the scenes, the tenants only saw three days of activity. Over 600 recycling bins and nearly 400 mini-hanging waste baskets were installed throughout the building. Each install included one-on-one conversations and some tenants even opted for on-site training as well. In total, Resource Synergy educated nearly 400 employees of the building’s 90 tenants on the new system.

As Assistant Property Manager Scarlett Stalter said, “Working with Resource Synergy was amazing and seamless. Erik took care of all the details and made it so easy for us.”

Resource Synergy’s program increased The Paulsen Center’s recycling by 255% and cut waste in half. After all, once you remove paper, metal, glass, and plastic, there isn’t much left in the office waste stream.

The tenants were delighted with the program. “We were impressed that The Paulsen Center cared enough about the environment and our businesses to make recycling this easy,” said Matthew Pederson of Republic Services.

In fact, with a total waste cost savings of 40%, the program not only paid for itself, but also delivered a positive impact to The Paulsen Center’s bottom line.

Pride School

Reducing Waste While Educating Students

Until February 2018, Pride Schools in Spokane was hauling its 20-yard roll-of dumpster on a weekly basis, yet over half of that waste could have been recycled. That much unnecessary waste not only impacts the environment, but it hurts a school's operating budget.

The Pride School team had already taken steps towards waste reduction, but there was always a more pressing priority. Resource Synergy was able customize a strategy and implementation process to achieve significant results in a matter of weeks.

Before implementing Pride School's customized program, Resource Synergy consulted with teachers, administrators, custodians and kitchen staff. Upon initiation, students were incorporated into every phase of the process, beginning with a waste characterization to identify waste prevention and diversion opportunities. Resource Synergy then deployed consistent, color-coded bins and signage to promote wash participation and later trained and educated students about best recycling practices at assemblies for all middle and high school students.

Resource Synergy's program doubled Pride School's recycling volume, initiated compost collection, and reduced trash by 73%! With a total waste cost savings of 67%, the program not only paid for itself but freed up funds that can now be redirected to other priorities.

More than 60 recycling and compost bins were deployed throughout the Pride Schools property. In total, Resource Synergy educated over 300 students, as well as their teachers and other staff members.

Removing recycling and food waste from the trash dumpster was a big win for Pride Schools, resulting in its big 20-yard dumpster being hauled once-per-month instead of once-per-week. In addition to strong financial savings, Pride Schools' recycling program visually communicates its organization's sustainability commitment while educating the next generation of environmental stewards.