Since this is my first blog post on Sands Confidential, I suppose I should introduce myself. I’m Ryan Green, the sustainable development coordinator for the Sands Expo at The Venetian|Palazzo. You can see me in the video below, which describes the kind of work I do:

Over the last year, our recycling outreach program has been gaining tremendous speed. I want take a moment to recap for you what we’ve done, and I want to especially thank my fellow team members for doing so much to make our recycling program such a success.

We’ve literally received hundreds of pounds of donations from team members, including light bulbs and mirrors from our facilities team who removed the items from the guest suites. They were then donated to Habitat for Humanity to assist in building new homes.

Hundreds of gallons of our paint was distributed to several organizations including the Animal Foundation, the Graffiti Abatement Program, Opportunity Village, the Greener Blocks Event in April 2012, and more.

We’ve also received hundreds of gallons of old paint that we then distributed to several organizations including the Animal Foundation, the Graffiti Abatement Program, Opportunity Village, the Greener Blocks Event in April 2012, and more.

The Greener Blocks hosted a community building event to clean up a downtown city block in Las Vegas in April 2012. They used our paint and a few dozen light bulbs. We also distributed several thousand CFL bulbs at the local GreenFest event, in partnership with the NEWH charity to educate Las Vegas residents on the importance of energy efficient lighting.

Team members have also donated materials including old irons and hair dryers from the Housekeeping department and additional items. In partnership with the Sands Foundation, we recently received 2 tables from our in-house day care that will be donated to the school district.

More recently, with the implementation of our scanning program to make more documents digital, hundreds of binders have been donated as well as many other office based materials. These items will be donated to the Teacher’s Exchange, a non-profit organization helping teachers in need.

Flowers and trees were donated from our horticulture department.

And, since we are in Vegas after all, we’ve also donated old playing cards no longer in use that will go into local math classrooms to assist teachers in math and other programs. Other items have been donated including chairs from the old Restaurant Charlie, plants and trees from the Horticulture department, and various sample items from the purchasing department that were not needed.

All in all, our recycling program not only helped the community, but helped keep these items out of our waste stream. These items have now been “up-cycled,” meaning they have been given another use in a new home while helping keep thousands of pounds of materials out of the trash and potentially the landfill.

On behalf of the Sands Expo, I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the department heads and team members who’ve participated in this program, and I look forward to working with more individuals in the future. Your efforts have impacted the local community more than words can describe and you have done much more than just keep these items out of the trash. You’ve helped the world.