Meadows reuses everything from frying oil to manure
Each time diners at Meadows Racetrack and Casino restaurants order french fries, they're helping the environment.
In an average week, the South Strabane facility's three restaurants and the food court generate 200 gallons of frying oil. The Meadows recycles every drop into biodiesel, which helps power most of the racetrack's vehicles and equipment.
The program is the most recently implemented green initiative at the Meadows, which finds a way to reuse or repurpose everything from manure to runoff water.
“At first, it sounds complicated, but once you get into it, it's very simple,” said Dan Mangan, racing facilities manager.
The fuel program has been in operation for a month, with Mangan executing the conversion in a small building behind the track. The oil collects in a vat, is heated, tested and finally combined with a mix of potassium hydroxide and methanol. It can be used for any vehicle that does not travel outside the complex.
The business uses about 10,000 gallons of biodiesel a year. The savings from the used fryer oil is about $2.75 a gallon.
The property has 18 barns housing 750 horses. Their “spent bedding” — an industry term for a mix of used straw and manure — is collected under a large tent. Every month, 550 tons of it travels from Washington to Armstrong County, where it's converted into compost for the underground Creekside Mushrooms farm.
“Traditionally, getting it out is a big expense,” said Mike Jeannot, president of Meadows Racing. “You have to take it to a landfill and treat it.”
The mushroom company pays for the removal of the manure, which typically fills 10 tractor-trailers a week, Mangan said. The program has been in place since at least the 1980s, he said. A Creekside company representative could not be reached for comment.
Meadows crews are planning to use runoff instead of fresh water to clean the limestone track of dust, a process that can use up to 40,000 gallons a day in the summer. Races are held four times a week, year-round.
A pump placed in an unnamed tributary of Chartiers Creek that runs through the racetrack property collects the water, which is stored in three underground cisterns until it moves to trucks. The state Department of Environmental Protection regulates the process.
Many of these initiatives are possible because of revenue generated at the casino, Jeannot said. Table-game and slot revenue grew from $22.32 million in June 2011 to $24.96 million in June 2012, state reports show.
“A racetrack is an enormously expensive thing to operate,” Jeannot said.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- 2B Walker, Pirates smash through Tigers pitching in road victory
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Pirates notebook: Cole cool about hostile comment
- Pittsburgh a big draw for tourists on July 4th weekend
- Ligonier Township officer’s widow to file civil suit
- Steelers submit application to play host to Super Bowl in 2023
- New Kensington residents rally in support of 82-year-old robbery victim
- Judge revokes bail for Plum High School teacher