The Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Chumash Casino Resort for efforts to cut down waste, including recycling and food recovery.
Mike Stoker, regional administrator for EPA Pacific Southwest, toured the Chumash Casino Resort during America Recycles Week.
“The Chumash Casino Resort’s Zero Waste initiatives are making a real difference for the environment,” said Mr. Stoker. “By diverting more than 90 percent of their total waste stream from landfills and sharing their expertise with other tribes, they are true recycling champions.”
Kenneth Kahn, chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, described the recognition as an honor.
“By forming local partnerships and participating in innovative programs, our Chumash Casino Resort’s Facilities Department has taken our recycling efforts to new heights,” said Mr. Kahn. “We are proud of our team’s ongoing campaign to further reduce our waste stream and its ability to be an industry leader for recycling in California Indian Gaming.”
Last year, the Chumash Casino Resort diverted almost 3 million pounds of waste, which represented more than 90 percent of the resort’s overall waste stream. It also donated almost 9,000 pounds of food to Veggie Rescue to help those struggling with food insecurity.
The Casino Resort has also won several EPA awards, including the Food Recovery Challenge award in 2014 and 2016. The EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge partners with more than 1,000 organizations and businesses to prevent and reduce waste food.
The Chumash Casino Resort has been an EPA WasteWise partner since 2008 and has received national WasteWise Partner of the Year awards in 2012 and 2015. The WasteWise program helps organizations and businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to reduce municipal and industrial wastes.