RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF.—The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has added another green initiative to its efforts to further reduce its impact on the environment in Southern California by becoming the first hotel property in the Coachella Valley to implement ORCA Technology, an innovative technology developed by ORCA Digesters, Inc. that turns food waste into water. The application of this system will divert approximately 624 tons of food waste from local landfills per year, thereby reducing the amount of methane gases produced at landfill sites, lowering garbage truck diesel fuel usage, and resulting CO2 emissions. Additionally, the digested food waste can then be used to create renewable energy resources at the local wastewater treatment facilities.
“This innovative technology in food waste processing will allow us to become a leader in the Coachella Valley for recycling our food waste,” Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Facilities Director James Stone says. “The ORCA is an outstanding addition to our already successful recycling efforts currently underway.”
“At Agua Caliente we are committed to protecting the environment for our guests, our employees, the Greater Coachella Valley community and the world,” says Saverio “Sal” Scheri III, Chief Operating Officer for Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. “The changes that Jim Stone and his team have implemented have significantly reduced our environmental impact thus far, and we look forward to continuing to take the necessary measures to maintain one of the most environmentally friendly resorts in our region.”
Machine Uses ‘Aerobic Digestion’
The ORCA is an environmentally friendly alternative solution to the issue of food-waste disposal. The technology can digest up to 2,400 pounds (more than 1 ton) of food waste per day, and within 24 hours can convert food waste into environmentally safe water that flows straight into the public sewage system. Within the stainless-steel container, the ORCA’s proprietary, natural microorganism solution works with water and recycled biochips to quickly break down the waste. Through a process called “aerobic digestion,” the ORCA technology constantly churns all this material, adding oxygen that accelerates the time it takes to transform the food waste disposal into earth-friendly water.
Agua Caliente’s adoption of the ORCA technology is the resort’s latest major effort in reducing the property’s environmental impact overall. Existing green initiatives include significant upgrades to the resort’s lighting. Agua Caliente has completed energy efficiency lighting conversion projects in its parking areas that included the replacement of more than 700 lightbulbs with LED bulbs. In addition, 90 percent of the interior spaces have been converted to LED lighting, including all 340 guestrooms, and 75 percent of all landscape lighting has been converted. These and other cumulative efforts have resulted in a savings of nearly 1.3 million kilowatt-hours back to the local power grid. Adding to the lighting conversion projects, the resort is also a participant in Southern California Edison’s Demand Savings Program, pledging to reduce its energy consumption during hours of peak demand. Further, since March 2017, a recycling program has reprocessed 478,000 pounds of cardboard, aluminum, and No. 1 plastics.