Solid Waste Management & Recycling at Yellowstone National Park

  • In 2014, we diverted over 74% of our waste from landfill disposal. Through innovative composting and recycling programs, we were able to keep nearly 4 million pounds of material from entering our local landfills. In addition to conventional recyclables (cans, bottles, paper, etc.), Xanterra also recycles or donates for reuse electronic waste, used oil, tires, laundry bags, linens, curtains, batteries, cooking oil, manure, solvents, and more. All told, all of these recycled and donated items added up to over 2 million pounds. Detailed information can be made available through Xanterra’s Ecometrix tracking program.
  • Xanterra sorts refuse to send to the West Yellowstone Compost Facility, where all park organics are processed into a marketable soil amendment. Nearly 2 million pounds of waste is turned into compost each year.
  • Our service center recycles all used automotive batteries, tires, Freon, antifreeze, and paint solvents.
  • Our parkwide bulk amenities program reduces waste by using refillable in-room amenities for soaps and lotions, as we continuously work to eliminate unnecessary materials from entering our waste stream.
  • We recycle all manure from stable operations and provide it to local agricultural businesses, including over 640,000 pounds in 2014.
  • During the entire 2013 operating season at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Xanterra piloted a 3-bin waste collection system. This system, intended to increase Xanterra’s waste diversion rate by offering a wider variety of sorting options for our guests, incorporated new and enhanced waste messaging and signage with detailed sorting guidelines and visual cues as to how waste can be properly sorted. Instead of the option of sorting only by recyclable vs. non-recyclable, guests now have separate bins for recycling, compost, and landfill waste. In 2015, we put these waste sorting stations in nearly 500 YNP rooms and they will be in 40% of rooms by 2016.
  • To round out our waste collection infrastructure, Back Alley Metals waste/recycling containers have been deployed throughout our operations. Having these strategically placed throughout the park helps to ensure that our guests have ample opportunities for waste management and recycling during their stay. Additionally, Back Alley Metals is a local company operating out of Red Lodge, Montana.