Waste not, want not…

Filed in Environment by on October 30, 2013
The recycling team at the Drakensberg Sun Resort -

Part of the recycling team at the Drakensberg Sun Resort – © Responsible Traveller

Wise words most of us have heard at some time or other. When applied to garbage they make even more sense, as can be seen at the Drakensberg Sun Resort whose commitment to managing their waste with a stringent and effective recycling programme is exemplary. 

As Diamond rated members of the Heritage Programme the management team at the Drakensberg Sun have a clear understanding of their potential environmental impacts and have gone through extensive initiatives to identify and minimise resource use, reduce waste and to raise awareness of environmental issues with guests and staff.  Being located within the majestic uKhalamba DrakensbergPark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is added motivation for this commitment to the environment.

So what has proven to be sustainable?

The onsite worm farm which produces ’worm-tea’ and ‘worm-compost’ that is used in the gardens and grounds – all organic waste generated by the kitchen is separated and sorted at source, and the suitable waste is fed to the worms creating the ‘tea’ and the ‘compost’ through their digestion process. All cooked foods and food waste that cannot be used in the worm farm is donated to a local pig farmer, who collects it every morning.

The garbage is sorted in the onsite waste sorting area into three categories; glass – which is placed in the “Glass” skip; Recyclables – all plastic cardboard, paper, tins, and metals are separated from other waste materials and placed in the “recyclables” skip and general waste – anything that remains that cannot be recycled is placed in the “general waste” skip for safe waste disposal. Regular pickups by ‘Why Waste’ are done and safe waste disposal certificates are issued for general waste pickups, and weights are provided for all other waste that is recycled – accurate measurement is a requirement of the Heritage environmental programme.

Other waste includes hazardous waste, which is removed by a licensed safe waste disposal company; garden refuse which is composted for use in the gardens; old cooking oil which is donated to a local farmer who produces biodiesel for use in his delivery vehicles, this supplier also delivers vegetables to the hotel on a daily basis which results in less emissions on their property.

So what’s the big deal?

There’s money in it – for the waste removal company and employment for many who would otherwise be unable to support their families. ‘Why Waste’ employ only locals at their plant in Ladysmith and have since March 2010 employed the three waste plant technicians that were on fixed term contracts with the Drakensberg Sun Resort. This has given these gentlemen, who live locally, job security and has a direct effect on their families and dependants. ‘Why waste’ also has employees at the local landfill who further sort waste for recycling.

In the calendar year July 2009 to June 2010 the Drakensberg Sun Resort created 126 tons of waste of which a whopping 93 tons (74%) were recycled!

Just imagine what that saved the environment and how much it contributed to somebody’s livelihood. Imagine the difference we could make if we all played our part in recycling!

Contact details:

Drakensberg Sun Resort

Tel: +27 36 468 1000

www.tsogosun.com

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