Chumash Casino Resort

Santa Ynez, California
Certification level: 
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
Facility Size: 
601,000 square feet
Type of Operation: 
Project Overview: 

Chumash Casino Resort entertains over 3.5 million visitors per year and employees near 2,000 people, making it the largest private employer in Santa Barbara County. The entire resort and surrounding property approaches 1,000,000 developed square feet, has 320 four-diamond AAA rated hotel rooms and over 2,000 slot machines. Nestled in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, the Chumash Casino Resort is the 6th largest Native American gaming operation in the very competitive California marketplace, which currently has 61 Native Owned Casinos. As a result, managing waste and energy consumption becomes a critical function for the resort, our Tribal Ownership and the community as a whole.

Innovative zero waste practices:

The Chumash Casino Resort has developed "close the loop" programs with local and national vendors that help organize and recycle many difficult waste streams.

  • Dart Container Corporation: densified polystyrene cups are reprocessed into picture frames, crown molding, and many other products.
  • TerraCycle: Cigarette waste is shredded and separated into plastics, papers, and organics.
  • Los Angeles Fibers: produces carpet cushion product made from the casinos post-consumer carpet material.
  • Textile Waste Solutions: takes used uniforms and ships overseas to clothe the poor in developing countries or processed locally for shop rags.

Environmental Impacts:

Since 2004, Total Waste Stream went from 7.2 million pounds per year to 3.2 million pounds per year in 2018. Recycling went from 6% to 90% in those 14 years of recycling operations. It is very important to understand what is going through the casino's waste stream at any given moment to adjust separation techniques and general recycling goals for the year. The Casinos recycling partner, WM- Santa Maria CA, helps the Facilities Department maintain this understanding by conducting annual waste audits to help further this knowledge.