LAS VEGAS and ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Harrah's Foundation donated $100,000 to the Orlando, Fla.-based Clean the World Foundation for development of a soap recycling facility in Las Vegas. The center will collect and sanitize soap and bottled amenities (shampoos, conditioners and lotions) from casino hotels and then distribute the products to children and families in need throughout the United States and more than 40 countries. Unused amenities will be sorted for distribution among area homeless shelters, domestic abuse safe havens and women's shelters.
The facility, expected to be fully operational by early 2011, will also contribute to local economic growth and community outreach. It is expected to provide part-time employment for individuals from the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and the creation of additional full-time positions in Las Vegas once the facility is up and running.
The housekeeping staff collects the unused soap and shampoo at participating resorts. Housekeeping carts have been modified with special containers for collection of the used soap and bottled amenities.
According to a report by the World Health Organization, more than 9,000 children die each day from preventable diseases and common illnesses caused by lack of proper hygiene, which includes access to soap and clean water. More than 60 percent of these deaths could be prevented by regularly washing with bar soap.
Acute respiratory illness and diarrheal disease are the top two causes of death among children younger than 5 years old worldwide. They are responsible for 3.5 million or 20% of all child deaths annually, predominately in lower income countries, such as Haiti, and in nations throughout Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Clean the World distributes recycled soap products to more than 40 impoverished countries all over the world as well as domestic homeless shelters.
"This grant from the Harrah's Foundation will enable Clean the World to double our operational capacity and expand the collection and recycling of soap and bottled amenities from casinos across Las Vegas," says Shawn Seipler, executive director at Clean the World. "We'll also double our reach for people in need of recycled soaps to help fight disease."
Harrah's currently has five Las Vegas hotel casinos participating in a pilot soap collection program – Paris Las Vegas, Bally's Las Vegas, Harrah's Las Vegas, Imperial Palace and Caesars Palace. Paris and Bally's alone have collected more than 2000 lbs. (one ton) of soap in just eight weeks. Expansion of the program to all Harrah's Entertainment resorts in Las Vegas is expected over the next 12 months.
"Our relationship with Clean the World allows Harrah's Entertainment and the Harrah's Foundation to help people in need while diverting tons of soap and amenities-related waste in local landfills," said Thom Reilly, executive director of the Harrah's Foundation. "With the $100,000 donation from the Harrah's Foundation, Clean the World will be able to expand its program to all casino resorts, joining Harrah's in recycling soap and other bottled amenities."
Harrah's, through a relationship with its amenities provider Gilchrist & Soames, is proud to join with Clean the World and its more than 400 hotel partners involved with soap recycling to prevent disease and help save lives. Since its founding in 2009 Clean the World has collected, recycled and distributed more than 6 million soap bars (375 tons) and 250,000 pounds of bottled amenities for human use, diverting nearly 400 tons of waste from landfills. The usual cost of collecting soap from guest rooms is roughly $.65 per room per month.
Each day in the United States more than 1 million bars of soap are thrown away; Clean the World has a mission to collect and recycle discarded soap and shampoo products. Working with the hospitality industry gives the organization access to an abundance of discarded soap, which would otherwise end up in U.S. landfills. By cleaning and distributing these products to impoverished people, thousands of deaths caused by hygiene related illnesses can be prevented every day. When patronizing Harrah's, guests can help provide a solution to some of the world's most preventable diseases and feel a connection to the global community.
About Clean the World
Clean the World is committed to reducing the waste created by discarded soap and shampoo products and collects these items from hotels to be recycled and distributed to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished people worldwide, helping to prevent deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses. Clean the World Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) tax-exempt charitable organization. For more information visit: http://www.cleantheworld.org.
About the Harrah's Foundation
The Harrah's Foundation is a private, 501(c) (3) foundation established to provide financial support to qualified organizations in communities where employees of the operating subsidiaries live and work. Established in 2002, the Harrah's Foundation is funded by Harrah's Entertainment properties and supports social reinvestment programs by funding eligible 501(c)(3) organizations dedicated to helping older individuals live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives, promoting a safer, cleaner environment and improving the quality of life in our operating communities.
SOURCE The Harrah's Foundation