Whistler-Blackcomb wins environmental award 

Resort named Silver Eagle winner for waste reduction and recycling

Whistler-Blackcomb has been awarded a Silver Eagle award, which recognizes environmental performance among North American ski areas.

Whistler-Blackcomb has now won two Golden Eagles, six Silver Eagles, and numerous finalist spots since the Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence were established in 1993. The awards were handed out in Florida earlier this month at the National Ski Areas Association national convention.

Whistler-Blackcomb won the award in the category of waste reduction and recycling. The company was also a Silver Eagle finalist in the categories of energy conservation/clean energy and environmental education, as well as a finalist for the Golden Eagle award for overall excellence, which Whistler-Blackcomb won last year.

"We are very honoured and proud to have received this recognition among our peer resorts," said Arthur DeJong, Whistler-Blackcomb’s mountain planning and environmental resource manager.

"There are hundreds of people who need to be thanked and recognized for making this happen at every level of our company. Our team puts the waste reduction and recycling systems in place, but we rely on our guests and staff to comply in order to ensure the program’s success."

The award recognized the fact that Whistler-Blackcomb has reached a 60 per cent reduction in its landfill waste by removing compostable material from the waste stream, in addition to the dozens of items it recycles daily.

"Environmentalism has become part of our DNA here at Whistler-Blackcomb as we strive for continuous improvement in the stewardship of our mountain eco-systems," said DeJong.

"It’s great to get the recognition for having achieved 60 per cent reduction in waste, but our job is not done until we are 100 per cent waste free."

DeJong points to the future and the ultimate vision of becoming a fully sustainable resort operation and a model for resort communities worldwide.

"Awards such as the Silver Eagle inspire us, but we’re still at the beginning of the journey and we must continually improve our results," he said.

Meanwhile Whistler-Blackcomb has started construction of the new Piccolo Express lift, which will run from the bottom of Flute Bowl to the peak of Piccolo and access more than 1,000 acres of terrain for every ski level.

The lift will open for the 2006-07 season.

This Sunday, the last day of regular skiing and riding on Whistler Mountain, Whistler-Blackcomb will host a barbecue to say thanks to season pass holders.

It will run from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Glacier View room at the Roundhouse on Whistler and will cost $5.

Passholders who go can fill out a ballot for a chance to win one of two season passes for next year and other prizes.

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