A 10-year-old girl from Fourways, Johannesburg, has teamed up with Montecasino to tackle plastic waste. Harriet Dawes challenged the mega-entertainment destination to join The Last Straw initiative that aims to see the end of plastic straws.
Dawes has taken part in numerous river clean-ups, including Emmarentia and Jukskei River, as a member of the 1st Fourways Cubs group. Her love of dolphins and drive for environmental conservation led her to write to Montecasino and urge them to join the campaign.
The general manager at Montecasino, Mike Page, says that he was inspired by the letter. “As a community-centred and environmentally responsible property, this request was taken very seriously,” he says.
“We constantly strive to be a catalyst for change in our community and we have begun the process of engaging with our tenants to consider alternatives to plastic single-use straws,” says Page.
Montecasino improves waste management
Several of Montecasino’s tenants, such as Ocean Basket, are already on board, swapping plastic straws with paper, bamboo and metal ones. Page believes that the trend will raise awareness to members of the public and other businesses that the need to reduce plastic waste is urgent.
Montecasino provides recycling bins for glass, cardboard, paper, tins and e-waste. These are available for public use. Each of the 40 restaurants and fast food outlets at the casino complex also have three bins for food waste, dry waste and contaminated waste that cannot be recycled.
Currently, Montecasino recycles between 35% and 40% of all its waste, but they are steadily pushing to increase this percentage. “Every sub-contractor and tenant operating on Montecasino’s premises is given our environmental policies and is expected to comply fully,” says Page.
Montecasino has already implemented better waste management procedures to increase their recycling rate. A new food waste system has also been installed to handle the waste from the staff dining room. This Joraform Bio-container was imported from Sweden and creates compost from the kitchen food waste.
Vegetable offcuts and organic waste are placed into the hopper of the Joraform Bio-container, where they are ground into a mulch and dropped into a chamber. This mix is then aerated and mixed with wood pellets.
After approximately two weeks, the decomposing mulch is moved to a second chamber where it gets agitated constantly as it matures into fertile compost. The system can store 4000 litres of food waste per month. The compost is then used to fertilise Montecasino’s expansive gardens.
“Our waste management initiatives are crucial to our efforts to increase recycling, but possibly a bigger challenge is encouraging every person on the property – tenants, staff and visitors – to understand the need to reduce waste and to have a recycling and reusing mindset about everything they use,” says Page.
Original source: www.emmagazine.co.za
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