Solid Waste Management & Recycling at Yellowstone National Park

  • Diverted 73% of our waste from disposal in landfill by composting, reuse, and recycling programs.
  • Sorts refuse for processing at the West Yellowstone Compost Facility, where all park waste is processed into a marketable soil amendment. Approximately 2.2 million pounds of our waste was turned into compost.
  • Manages a comprehensive recycling program for all operations. In 2011, we recycled or reused over 2 million pounds of waste.
  • Recycles all used automotive batteries, tires, Freon, antifreeze and paint solvents in vehicle and building maintenance operations.
  • Recycles all electronic waste; 2011 amount was nearly 10,000 pounds. In 2008, we also instituted a consumer-electronics recycling program for employees.
  • Burns used engine oil for heat in the transportation center.
  • Reuses cardboard boxes and packing materials for mail orders and deliveries whenever possible.
  • Reuses old laundry bins for transporting recycling materials at locations.
  • Recycles batteries and print cartridges from office operations.
  • Provides bulk dispensers in all fast-food operations instead of (or in addition to) individually packaged condiments.
  • Reuses worn terry cloth as cleaning towels and creates laundry bags from worn aprons and shower curtains.
  • Utilizes bulk soap dispensers in public restrooms and showers in hotels and camp services.
  • Installed recycling receptacles in guest rooms and in guest areas to encourage recycling.
  • Retired the dry cleaning machine in the Gardiner Laundry, which eliminated the use of Perchloroethylene in the Park. The dry cleaning machine was even recycled for scrap metal.
  • Recycles all fluorescent bulbs from our operations.
  • Assisted with the funding and development of an award-winning propane-canister recycling trailer that converts canisters into scrap metal. In Yellowstone, more than 25,000 canisters were processed (and diverted from the landfill) in 2010.
  • Recovers buttons and zippers from uniforms.
  • Reuses guest information materials at campgrounds.
  • Recycles all packaging and materials from mattress orders on almost 1,000 items annually.
  • Recycles all manure from stable operations and provides to local agricultural businesses.
  • Recycles approximately 10,000 gallons of cooking oil and grease annually.
  • In 2011, we were able to donate 141,000 pounds of used mattresses and 37,000 pounds in linens to non-profits and businesses.
  • Donates unclaimed lost and found items to charity.
  • In 2010, 141,000 pounds of construction waste was diverted, including over 23,000 pounds of carpet.
  • Bought new recycling receptacles in 2009 for all employee dorms in the park to increase recycling program participation.
  • Began recycling pillows and CD/DVDs in 2009.
  • Developed new recycling and waste sorting center for Mammoth Hot Spring Hotel that will be installed in the spring of 2011 that allows guests to sort recycling, landfill, and compost. Includes a concrete top with embedded glass recycled from Yellowstone.
  • Placed three new recycling centers for the Old Faithful area with custom metal working design to encourage more participation in the recycling program.
  • Collecting used bear spray repellent for recycling program beginning in 2011.