By Kathryn Reed
MontBleu workers are making a concerted effort to turn the casino green. It has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with the environment.
Their efforts outside the facility were recognized last year when Amador County named it the Adopt a Highway Volunteer of the Year. After the snowmelts about a dozen employees don vests, protective eye-wear and hardhats before scouring four miles on both sides of Highway 88 past Kirkwood for garbage.
Another group participates in June’s Community Cleanup Day to clear the area from MontBleu to Horizon of debris. In September, they are cleaning up Lake beaches.
Paula Peterson is the team leader for Bleu Goes Green. The group is doing several projects inside the Stateline casino, as well. All work is done on a voluntary basis.
“We are looking at ways to reuse things. The old table cloths from the convention area, we cut them up and sew them into coin bags,” Peterson said. She admits the company saves money through their initiatives, but says the group is about doing its part to make the world better, while the benefits to the bottom line benefits are a bonus.
Paper and beverage containers are recycled. Using recycled products is encouraged. All light bulbs are now T8 energy-efficient bulbs. Styrofoam can’t be found on the property. Working to conserve water via toilets and faucets is the next project.
Peterson said discussions are under way with toiletry supplier Aveda to create a bag to recycle the used plastic bottles in as well as ones for guests to pack the bottles in to take home. Now all empty and half full plastic bottles wind up in landfills.
The green team is looking to work with Bently Biofuels in the valley to take the cooking oil from its restaurants. It could be turned into fuel used in BlueGo buses.
When it comes to transportation, the casino offers discounts for workers to ride the Kingsbury Express. Four parking spaces for hybrid vehicles have been created.
Joe Yung, director of community development for parent company Colombia Sussex, had the idea for the casino to host April’s Earth Day. Last month was the second year for MontBleu to take the lead on the free event.
For info on Bleu Goes Green, go to www.montbleuresort.com/bleugreen.php.