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Cherokee Nation Enterprises goes green

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TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Enterprises, which operates Cherokee Casinos, has saved 437 trees, 106 cubic yards of landfill space, 53 barrels of oil from being used and reduced CO2 by nine tons in the last four months. The earth-saving statistics are a result of the company launching a “green team” to assist in becoming more eco-friendly.

The team, formed last year, launched a recycling pilot program at Cherokee Casino Resort in December. From December through March, that program collected more than 29 tons of recycled materials.

“Launching the recycling program, we wanted to start in our corporate offices and back-of-house support areas then gradually progress to the gaming floor,” said David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises. “Of the 29 tons we’ve recycled, more than 16 tons has been paper. As we have expanded to the kitchen and the bar areas of the resort, we’ve started to see our glass recycling increase dramatically as well.”

Cherokee Recycling, a third-party recycling vendor based out of Catoosa, provides services to the resort twice a week.

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Other year-round, earth-friendly efforts include an employee carpooling and shuttle system. Employees of CNE can log onto the company intranet to coordinate a carpool with co-workers or view schedules for a low-cost shuttle system to and from work. That shuttle service, provided by Pelivan Transportation, is centrally located for employees living in Rogers, Mayes, Wagoner and Craig Counties, and runs routes to Cherokee Casino Resort in Catoosa and Will Rogers Downs in Claremore.

Cherokee Nation Enterprises also recycles ink cartridges and batteries through its office supply vendors.

“It’s great to see our company and employees become more involved in doing our part to be as eco-friendly as possible,” Stewart said. “The employees have really embraced it and see the importance for a company of our size to try to limit and reduce our environmental impact as much as possible.”

The pilot program is currently expanding to all Cherokee Casino locations, although some properties have already been engaging in unofficial “green” initiatives.

Cherokee Casino – West Siloam Springs employees recently helped keep aluminum cans out of a landfill, while lending a hand to a nearby public library at the same time. Employees collected aluminum cans and donated them to the Kansas Public Library. Library workers recycle the cans for money to help offset its energy costs.