Monday, 14 November 2016
Recent evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics identifies some encouraging trends in response environmental pressures while maintaining economic growth.
While most Australians have responded positively to the green message, there are still areas of grave concern. Recent evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics identifies some encouraging trends in response environmental pressures while maintaining economic growth. But figures also confirm fears that the news is mixed, especially in terms of waste production.
While the economy grew by 71 percent, water consumption dropped by 16 percent between 1996-97 and 2013-14. However, waste generated in Australia grew at a much faster rate than the economy, increasing by 163 percent between 1996-97 and 2013-14.
Australia’s rapidly growing waste problem is concerning and the accommodation industry is most certainly contributing to the problem. The industry is a large producer of waste and the cost runs high, not just costly to our beautiful and unique environment but also in terms of real cash for your business.
The simplest and most effective way for accommodation operators to both reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom-line is to reduce the amount of waste produced.
The equation is simple: waste produced equals money spent. Many businesses in the tourism sector fruitlessly spend money every day on the handling, transporting and disposing of waste. A great deal of that waste can literally be nothing but air.
A large amount of this is waste that could have been avoided, reused or recycled. The reduction of waste is a priority and needs to be indoctrinated into a business. To do this requires policy, education and commitment.
Every single member of staff in an organisation needs encouragement to make better purchasing decisions, to create ways to reduce and dispose of waste correctly.
Tourism Australia recognises how important effective waste reduction is to the industry and states that: “All tourism operators have a responsibility to operate in a sustainable and cost effective way.”
But evidence suggests that most do not.
Meanwhile, there is some good news: there are many examples of Australian accommodation providers that have committed to the reduction of waste and have significantly reduced their waste and saved money along the way.
The first step for most businesses is to conduct complete audit of waste, in terms of handling, storage and disposal. This task identifies where most waste is produced within the organisation and where improvements can be made. There are waste management companies that can do this for you. They provide a framework of effective waste management solutions for your accommodation. They analyse current waste management practices and costs and identify potential savings through efficient compacting and recycling.
Mil-tek Waste Solutions is a company that provides waste initiatives to the industry. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of waste compacting machines, has been in Australia for over 14 years, and has now expanded into the accommodation, hotel and restaurant industry.
Rachel Baigent is the Managing Director at Mil-tek Queensland and she told us: “The hotel and accommodation industry is going through an exciting time with opportunities for businesses to introduce new efficiencies and cost savings for waste management.”
Thankfully, these problems are becoming a thing of the past as businesses adopt modern waste and recycling practices.
According to Ms Baigent, hotel and accommodation owners the world over deal with costly waste issues, an ever-increasing cost and volume of waste collections. Businesses lose valuable space due to large unsightly waste bins, employee time is blown by handling loose waste and perhaps the most damaging concern for an accommodation business is complaints from guests about noise and odour from waste trucks.
“Thankfully these problems are becoming a thing of the past as businesses adopt modern waste and recycling practices,” explained Ms Baigent.
“The Australian hotel and accommodation industry is now installing the latest waste minimisation and recycling technology from Europe.
Expensive commercial waste bin lifts are now being significantly reduced as employees easily sort, compact and recycle waste. The recyclable waste can then become a new income stream, offsetting existing waste costs and creating more staff time for customer service.”
The savings are most definitely a huge incentive for change. She continued: “Hotel and accommodation owners are now finding that state of the art waste compactors reduce general waste by as much as ten-to-one.
“These small waste compactors are installed at the source of the waste, usually in the kitchen and waste coral areas. Employees quickly and efficiently compact general waste into airtight bags, while the recyclable waste (cardboard and plastic) is compacted into stackable bales.
“Glass bottles can be crushed, and green food waste placed into specific waste bins and diverted from landfill. The compacted waste is then loaded onto lift trolleys to enable staff to easily move them into waste or recycling bins. This has proven to eliminate staff injuries from manually lifting loose bagged waste into bins.”
This is great news for the industry in many ways and she confirmed: “It has been proven that by compacting normal mixed hotel and restaurant general waste, pickups are reduced by as much as 50 percent.”
This all sounds too good to be true, right? Saving money for nothing. It is true that the initial audit is free but there is an expense to implementing these waste solutions. So is it worth the expense?
“Yes. Experience has shown that Mil-tek waste compacting machines generally pay for themselves within a 12 to 24-month period” confirmed Ms Baigent. “And by compacting recyclable cardboard and plastics, businesses also experience a 50 percent to 80 percent reduction in waste volumes and bin pickups,” she added.
The accommodation industry needs to urgently commit to sustainability, the future of the environment depends on it and so does the success of the business. Let us all be proud to have a low-waste accommodation industry, where resources are used and not wasted and disposal is seen as a last resort and not the first option. There are companies who are happy to help you put waste strategies in place so that you can manage your refuse more effectively and this will also save you money.
Make sure that you source your industry waste management solution specialist and ask for an audit today
Australians Are Some Of The Biggest Producers Of Waste In The World.