One of the top-ranking priorities identified by the Resort Tax commissioned a survey of Big Sky is Sustainability. Residents want to preserve the natural cleanliness and beauty that attracted them to this special place. When the collaboration of the Big Sky Sustainability Network Organization (SNO) and the Rotary Club of Big Sky presented a project to add recycling and compost collection to high foot traffic areas asking for support, we were enthusiastic!
The project involved designing, constructing, and placing four compartment (plastic, aluminum, compost & trash) bins at the fire pit and Wilson Plaza in the Town Center plus at the baseball fields at the Community Park. Funding for the purchase of the bins was provided by the Big Sky Rotary Foundation, Republic Services Charitable Foundation, Moonlight Community Foundation, Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, and the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation. Resort Tax will fund collecting the recyclable plastics and aluminum from a central location, collecting compostable materials from the bins plus transporting, and processing the collected materials in the Bozeman area.
Big Sky SNO is a new non-profit with the mission “to preserve and protect the Big Sky community by advancing sustainability and environmental initiatives.” They have recently analyzed the carbon footprint of the community and will develop plans for carbon reduction as well as multiyear climate action plans. The carbon analysis will also be used to apply for the Mountain IDEAL certification as a green mountain destination. The Rotary Club created a Sustainability Committee during 2019 and has facilitated the elimination of single-use plastic water bottles at the PBR and Outlaw Partner concerts, composting at the farmers market, and recycling at Music in the Mountains. The club also funded an education center at BASE, the new BSCO community center. This display will describe the environmental benefits of technology and operational practices of the new facility and will encourage visitors to use similar technology and practices where they live, work, and play.