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Subaru Shares Zero Landfill Expertise with National Parks

The National Parks Conservation Association has partnered with Subaru to significantly reduce landfill waste from national parks. The effort is starting at three pilot parks: Denali, Grand Teton, and Yosemite (pictured).

Subaru, which has America's first zero landfill automotive assembly plant, will be sharing its knowledge of zero landfill practices with the National Park Service to reduce waste from the parks. In partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association, the team will test zero landfill practices in Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali National Parks, with a goal of significantly reducing waste entering landfills from all national parks.

In 2013, the National Park Service managed more than 100 million pounds of waste nationally, much of which their 273.6 million visitors generated. This accounts for only the waste managed by the National Park Service and not for the waste managed by park concessioners, which is considerably higher and includes lodging, transportation, food services, shops, and more.

More than seven million people visited the three pilot parks in 2013, generating 16.6 million pounds of visitor waste. Of that amount, 6.9 million pounds were diverted from landfill via source reduction, reuse, recycling or composting; 9.7 million pounds were sent to landfill. By learning from experts at Subaru, the parks and concessioners hope to further reduce waste to landfills, and educate visitors on lessening their environmental footprint within the parks.

To start this effort, National Park Service, NPCA, National Park Foundation, and concessioner representatives from each pilot park visited Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. They observed Subaru's environmental stewardship in action, discussed best practices, and identified opportunities and challenges at each park. Subaru sustainability experts then visited each pilot park to assess their current practices and discuss initiatives needed to reach the goal of zero landfill.

NPCA is helping Subaru implement the pilot project by conducting a baseline waste audit, and reviewing recycling, composting, hazardous waste management, and visitor waste behaviors. Together, they will create zero landfill plans that other national parks can adopt.

Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. said, "We are delighted to be able to share Subaru's expertise with our national parks. We are very pleased that we can make a positive contribution to a resource we all treasure."

Clark Bunting, president and CEO of NPCA said, "If Subaru can build cars without contributing to landfills, how might that translate to our national parks? By marrying a private success story to a public need, it can be a very powerful model, not just for the centennial but for decades to come. We are proud to work with Subaru, and be the leading convener and catalyst for this incredibly important public-private partnership."

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May 21, 2018, 12:24 am PDT

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