Staff Report

On Nov. 12, during America Recycles Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Chumash Casino Resort for its outstanding efforts in recycling, food recovery and moving toward “zero waste.”

EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, Mike Stoker, toured the Chumash Casino Resort to celebrate its “green leadership” during America Recycles Week.

“The Chumash Casino Resort’s Zero Waste initiatives are making a real difference for the environment,” Stoker said. “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.”

“It’s an honor for our tribe to be recognized by the EPA during America Recycles Week,” said Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn. “By forming local partnerships and participating in innovative programs, our Chumash Casino Resort’s Facilities Department has taken our recycling efforts to new heights.”

In 2018, the Chumash Casino Resort diverted 2.9 million pounds of waste, representing over 90 percent of its overall waste stream, from local landfills through its successful Zero Waste program. To reach this ambitious target, the Chumash Casino Resort has formed both local and national partnerships and participated in several innovative programs to complement its extensive in-house recycling efforts.

The Chumash Casino Resort has won several EPA awards, including the Food Recovery Challenge award in 2014 and 2016. The resort has also been an EPA WasteWise partner since 2008 and has received national WasteWise Partner of the Year awards in 2012 and 2015.

For more information on joining America Recycles efforts, visit