Greening Tribal Casinos
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The casino floor offers a number of greening opportunities, particularly in the areas of water and energy use, as well as waste management. Opportunities abound for making smart purchasing choices that can reduce the amount of toxins to which both workers and patrons are exposed.
Choosing less hazardous cleaning products that have positive environmental attributes, and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers and building occupants, improves indoor air quality, and reduces water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building’s interior.
You can make smart environmental purchasing decisions in a variety of ways. For example, switching to reusable drink glasses, using low VOC paint, purchasing furniture from third-party certified sustainable wood, or purchasing printer paper with post-consumer recycled paper content are small changes that can make a big difference. Buying products with recycled content ensures that recycling programs around the country are successful. Tribal casinos are starting a number of exciting programs to recycle and compost their waste materials. EPA’s WasteWise Program developed a resource page specifically for entertainment venues/facilities. For more information, visit EPA’s WasteWise entertainment resources
If your casino maintains slot machines in-house, it is likely that you will generate solvents and other commercial products in degreasing operations that may be regulated as hazardous waste. To ensure proper management of all hazardous wastes, please visit the hazardous waste information page for casinos.
Remember that most fluorescent lamps are considered Universal Waste under federal regulations and must be recycled or disposed of properly. Rules have been developed to streamline the environmental regulations for these wastes and reduce the regulatory burden for businesses that generate these wastes. For steps to managing your Universal Waste Lamps in an environmentally safe manner, please visit EPA’s guide to establishing a recycling program for mercury-containing light bulbs
There are many ways your casino can reuse materials such as furniture, carpet , or uniforms that would otherwise get thrown away or destroyed. By reusing materials you can save money and make the most from your purchases. The Chumash Resort Casino case study (PDF) (5 pp, 396K, About PDF) has a number of innovative reuse programs.
Although not unique to the casino floor, lighting retrofits and energy efficient appliances/machines, such as computers, slot machines (2 pp, 130K, About PDF) or HVAC systems for example; can save significant amounts of money as well as reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated. EPA’s Energy Star partnership program offers a proven energy management strategy that helps in measuring current energy performance, setting goals, tracking savings, and rewarding improvements. For tools that will assist you in calculating your cost savings if you purchase or upgrade to Energy Star qualified commercial equipment and in calculating your return on investment (ROI), please visit the calculator tool.
Indoor air quality is an important factor for many patrons. The guide, "Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers", developed by EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings.
In order to make your long-term operation more environmentally friendly, you may want to create a plan that includes all aspects of greening your operations and one which is easy to understand and implement. This can be done through the creation of an Environmental Management System . If you are building a new facility or remodeling an existing building, there are significant opportunities to construct in a manner that reduces the environmental impact of the building and can save money in the long run.