On November 15, events were held across the nation to celebrate America Recycles Day and promote what Delaware North associates commit to each and every day. The annual program, sponsored by Keep America Beautiful and corporate partners, is a “day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.” While companies strive to decrease their environmental footprint, Delaware North’s Yellowstone Region operations are celebrating successes. 2014 is “shaping up to be a record breaking year for waste management efforts at all of these properties” according to Justin Cook, Environmental, Interpretive and Risk Director at Yellowstone.
At the Park Gate Lodges of West Yellowstone alone, recycling is up 45% from last year. The properties, which include the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone, Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, Yellowstone Park Hotel, and the Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone, are currently diverting over 21% of their total waste from the landfill. This is a substantial increase from 8.6% in 2013, and is augmented by programs that reduce the amount of waste-generating materials entering the operation. Improvement of associate awareness training, managerial accountability, and the ability to collect single stream recycling at some locations have led to this drastic increase. The Holiday Inn’s Branch Restaurant also participates in a compost program that has already diverted 9,620 pounds of food waste (that’s the weight of 6.2 mature bison).
Yellowstone General Stores are also slated to set records for their waste diversion efforts, having achieved an impressive 64% diversion rate to date. This includes recycling a hefty 231,922 pounds of material. They attribute some of their success to an increased public participation in recycling, due to this year’s implementation of decorative and interpretive wraps on recycling bins. According to Cook, “this effort provides a clear, concise message for the visitor about recycling while being visually attractive and telling a story of a different time in Yellowstone.”