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Case Studies

two photos: trees with yellow leaves, and waterfall

The experience of other tribes, villages, and tribal consortia that have successful programs already in place or on the way is a valuable resource for tribes and Alaska native villages developing solid waste management programs. Officials of such organizations are often willing to share their expertise with others who are attempting similar programs. This page includes case studies from selected tribes. For additional information or specific tribes see the Where You Live section and the Tribal Waste Journal.

Assiniboine and Sioux Nations, Fort Peck Reservation (EPA Region 8)
The Fort Peck tribes offer a combination of affordable curbside collection service and permanent waste drop-off sites to facilitate proper solid waste disposal. The tribes established a Public Works Committee Board to speed up the solid waste management decision-making process.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Planning Leads to Transfer Station Success
When the federal RCRA Subtitle D landfill regulations went into effect, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians closed its landfill and constructed a transfer station that can accept 300 tons of waste per day. The transfer station is successful because the tribe sized it properly, sited it carefully, and provided employees with extensive training.

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (EPA Region 10)
It took the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation 10 years to plan and build a transfer station, but their persistence paid off. The northeastern Oregon reservation now has a successful waste management system in place that is proving well worth the wait.

Doing Transfer Station Homework Pays Off (EPA Region 6)
Jicarilla Apache Nation used information collected from site visits and a feasibility study to select the perfect transfer station design. The completed transfer station is a split-level, enclosed facility that handles 12 to 16 tons of waste per day.

Mohegan Tribe (EPA Region 1)
The Mohegan Tribe has undertaken a major effort to reduce waste. The result is that the Tribe has reduced 44 percent of its solid waste stream by source reduction, green purchasing, education, and contractor certification.

Oglala Sioux Tribe (EPA Region 8)
The Oglala Sioux Tribe constructed a balefill that meets the federal landfill requirements. The tribe obtained funding from EPA, the Indian Health Service, and the US Department of Agriculture to complete the project. The first cell of the balefill can handle waste from the reservation for 25 years.

Onondaga Nation (EPA Region 2)
Onondaga Nation funded and constructed a small transfer station without help from the Indian Health Service or any other federal agencies. The nation worked directly with private waste haulers to design and complete its transfer station, which consists of a concrete surface with two roll-off bins inside of a gated chainlink fence.

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

From Conceptualization to Construction: Creating a Transfer Station on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation (EPA Region 2)
After conducting a waste audit, completing a feasibility study, and examining different transfer station designs, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe chose to install two 53 cubic yard, self-contained waste storage units. The tribe’s transfer station facility will also include a gated entrance, an unpaved road, a vehicle scale, a drop-off area for recyclables, and an operations building.

Tule River Indian Tribe (EPA Region 9)
After closing five open dumps, the Tule River Indian Tribe implemented a solid waste management plan to provide waste disposal alternatives. The tribe worked with the Indian Health Service to site, design, and construct a transfer station.

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