Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Choctaw Nation receives highest recognition from DEQ


February 24, 2020

Representatives from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Department of Environmental Quality gather for a photo at the Durant Choctaw Nation Recycling Center.

DURANT, Okla. – The Department of Environmental Quality, in partnership with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB), recognized the Choctaw Nation as an Oklahoma Clean Community during a ceremony held at the Choctaw Nation Recycling Center on February 20, 2020.

The Choctaw Nation was presented a plaque naming them a Level I, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, the highest-level recognition a community can receive under the Oklahoma Clean Community Program.

"The Choctaw Nation has done a wonderful job of reaching beyond their community, to all of the counties and the whole state of Oklahoma," said Ferrella March, environmental programs manager for the Department of Environmental Quality.

The Choctaw Nation Recycling program began with a Going Green Team and small-scale recycling in 2009. They later expanded into two facilities with 15 employees and have received approximately 25 million pounds of recyclables and collected 267 thousand tires.

Chief Gary Batton and Choctaw Nation Recycling Center employees smile looking at the new Oklahoma Clean Community award.

With two recycling centers located in Poteau and Durant, the Choctaw Nation services 135 roll-off containers throughout southeast Oklahoma and north Texas.

Choctaw Nation Recycling is an affiliate of KOB and has participated in the Great American Cleanup, America Recycles Day and Fresh Paint Days.

March shared that in the 2019 Great American Clean Up, 1,000 volunteers from the Choctaw Nation cleaned 32 miles of road and collected 71,200 pounds of trash.

"I'm proud of this program and the people working to protect mother earth. If we want to become a top ten state, we have to look like a top ten state and we're going to do our part to make sure Oklahoma looks beautiful," said Chief Gary Batton after accepting the award.


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