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By fully embracing food waste composting, Yosemite National Park has achieved impressive diversion numbers and slashed waste disposal costs.
From developing biodegradable utensils for tourists to circumventing hungry bears, the concessioner at Yosemite National Park has faced its share of challenges in establishing a composting program for the area.
But Delaware North Companies (DNC) Parks & Resorts persevered, and they now operate an organics recycling program that draws raves from observers. “DNC has done a heck of a job. Above and beyond what you’d see in a lot of cases,” says Greg Ollivier, solid waste manager at Mariposa County, which operates the composting facility DNC supplies.
Through composting, DNC now is diverting more than 10 percent of the solid waste it was sending to the landfill, and the tonnage keeps going up. For its composting efforts DNC received an environmental achievement award this year from the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). “Delaware North’s efforts should serve as a model for other concessioners that have access to local large-scale industrial composting facilities,” NPS said in announcing the award.
But getting there wasn’t a walk in the park.