Walt Disney Parks & Resorts set a goal to decrease solid waste to landfill to 50% of the 2006 baseline level by 2013. "2006 baseline level" refers to the total waste generated in 2006. In practical terms, this means decreasing our waste sent to landfill to levels below 137,556 tons per year.

From 2006 to 2010, the total waste generated by our theme parks and resorts increased by 27,786 tons, due primarily to significant construction projects at Disneyland Resort in California. However, despite this growth in construction-related waste, we surpassed our target in 2009 and sustained it in 2010, due to increases in existing recycling programs and additional recycling programs at every Park. Solid waste sent to landfill in 2010 was 44% of the total waste generated in 2006.

Chart 10: Progress toward Waste Target

Business Units

While our waste targets are primarily focused on Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, many of our business units are making strides in reducing waste sent to landfill.

  • ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, averages a 70% diversion rate through an extensive composting and recycling program. At this campus, we recycle or reuse all plastic, glass and metal containers, old pallets, used tapes and film, light bulbs, batteries, paper, cardboard, scrap metals, office furniture, carpet squares, ceiling tiles, toner cartridges, construction and demolition debris, sporting equipment, electronics and anything else possible. We provide only compostable plastic service ware including utensils, cups, lids and salad boxes and compostable fiber to-go boxes, plates, straws and hot cups. Everything that ends up in trash bins is incinerated, making it a zero waste to landfill campus. ESPN is working to increase the diversion rate and lower the incineration rate.
  • From digital dailies to final release prints, The Walt Disney Studios is digitizing the production, post-production and distribution processes. We are moving to a tapeless, filmless workflow. The first Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) movie required 400 million feet of film to create the release prints for movie theaters around the world. Compare that to Disney Alice in Wonderland (2010) which only required 75 million feet of film for release prints. Digital copies went out on 6,000 hard drives. The upcoming Muppets movie will be distributed entirely using this digital format. The Studio was also the initial driver behind an industry effort to collect and recycle 3D glasses. RealD, a licensor of 3D technologies, has collected and recycled more than 2,000 tons of 3D glasses domestically in 2010.
  • ABC's Set Reuse Program encourages the reuse of production sets, including promoting and repurposing stock scenery by managing a comprehensive web gallery. This gallery gives art departments and set designers access to a multitude of used sets. Additionally, we have in-house workstations for production groups to carry out research for identifying show or film sets.
  • Disney parks in the United States have increased the recycled content in a number of items. For example, celebration buttons are now made of 30% recycled steel, PhotoPass plastic cards are made of 95% recycled content, and all merchandise bags at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are made of 100% recycled plastic.
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