Loon’s Sustainable Slopes Efforts Include $50,000 Investment in Recycling Program

By AlpineZone News |
Oct 04 2007 - 09:45 AM

LINCOLN, New Hampshire — Loon Mountain, in the heart of the New Hampshire White Mountains, recently announced the start of a new recycling program. As part of the new program, guests will now be able to recycle plastic, glass and cans. Loon’s new pilot program will take place in the Octagon Base Lodge, Governor’s Lodge and the new Pemigewasset Base Camp this winter. The Octagon Cafeteria is switching to reusable plates and soup bowls, and will have recycling bins for the plates, glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and paper products. The set-up of the lodges will change, making way for the new recycling stations to be in the center of activity, making it easy for guests to find and use.

“This is a huge step forward for our resort,” commented Steve Bromley, Loon Mountain Food and Beverage Director. “With the amount of garbage we have in our cafeterias, we hadn’t been able to figure out how to get our hands around an effective recycling program. However, at the end of last season, we just sat down and said, ‘We need to figure this out today!’ And we did!”

In addition to the full recycling program in the base lodges, the rest of the on-mountain lodges will begin to recycle glass bottles. The implementation of the new program will cost approximately $50,000 to start and maintain through the season.

Energy Efficient Facelift
In the past two years, Loon has converted 75% of light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these bulbs can last 10 times longer and use approximately 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Many of the bathrooms now have motion sensors on the lights and fans to minimize usage. New, efficient windows and doors have been installed in the resort’s administrative offices, Children’s Center, and base lodges. With these new windows, it is easier for the facilities to retain heat. Along with new windows, doors, and motion control sensors, a new, highly-efficient Marathon water heater was recently installed at the Octagon Lodge.

Snowmaking Improvements and Efficiencies
Over the past two years, Loon has invested close to $250,000 on snowmaking improvements and energy efficient upgrades including the installation of 31 Ratnik guns, 10 new tower guns and new fan gun disconnects located on Little Sister and the Loon Mountain Park. The addition of this new equipment adds even more diversity to New Hampshire’s most powerful snowmaking system.

Efficiency was the goal when Loon installed the new fan gun disconnects on the Little Sister Trail and the Loon Mountain Park. The “disconnect” is a power source for the large fan guns. The placement of these allows Loon to make snow on both these trails, which need a great deal of snow to build terrain features. A fan gun is different from a “ground gun” or “tower gun” because it generates its own compressed air with an on-board compressor, so it does not utilize a compressed air hose. Loon has seven fan guns placed at strategic locations where a lot of snow can be made and moved around quickly. Under ideal conditions (10-degrees/10% humidity), a fan gun can make 2.7 acre-feet of snow in about two days, which is enough to cover Loon’s popular Seven Brothers trail.

Vehicle Maintenance
Although many guests may never see the Maintenance Center at Loon, it’s where shuttle buses, snow groomers, plows, and other vehicles are maintained. The resort partnered with Safety-Kleen to recycle over 300 gallons of waste oil and fluids from its vehicles. Safety-Kleen is a highly-respected waste management company with over 200 locations nationwide. The Maintenance Center also has a 2,800-gallon oil-water separator. This machine separates oil and other waste before water is flushed into the septic system. Loon also works with the town of Lincoln to recycle steel. Unused steel and scraps are sent to the town, where they can be sold and the town retains any profits.

Loon Mountain – A Clean Air Zone
In addition to using biodiesel in its grooming fleet, Loon will also continue it’s anti-idling policy for company vehicles. This will be expanded into a guest education program using signage in the skier drop off and parking areas asking guests to please turn off their vehicle engines unless absolutely necessary.

Loon Mountain will also be using a biodiesel mix in its grooming fleet for the 2007-08 winter season.

For more information on all the activities at Loon Mountain, visit http://www.loonmtn.com or call 1-800-229-LOON.