Team members of Sandals Montego Bay have embarked on a special project, making garbage bins from hundreds of plastic bottles and beer cans produced at the resort daily.
Spearheading the initiative is the resort’s Environment, Health & Safety Officer Haniff Richards who is encouraging other companies in Jamaica to explore the activity as a means of managing waste and encouraging recycling among employees.
“Plastic bottles and cans are collected at Sandals Montego Bay daily as a part of our waste management programme and are usually given to Jamaica Recycles. From that daily collection our team members, known as Earth Guardians came up with the idea to use these waste bottles to make garbage bins that guests and team members can use on the property,” Richards said.
He explained that, cement and wire are used to bind the bottles together to form the foundation of the bins. After the foundation is formed, cement is again used to give the bins’ exterior a clean, presentable finish.
Richards said he is very proud of the initiative especially as the resort’s general manager and hotel manager have seen it fit to place two of the bins in public areas frequented by guests and team members.
“Even though we used waste plastic bottles to make the bins, the finished product looks very good so they can be placed in public areas. We have even printed signs with the logo of the Earth Guardians so people can be reminded that they should protect the environment,” Richards stated.
Getting schools involved
He said his team of Earth Guardians will be making a few more bins for the 26-acre property at Sandals Montego Bay before they take the project to schools in the second city.
“We want to get the children involved in this project. We will encourage them to collect the bottles and we go in and help them to put everything together. Montego Bay’s tourism prosperous because of the environment so we want to get the children more involved in protecting it,” Richards said.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts are certified by Earth Check, a global benchmarking body that seeks to ensure that corporations adhere to environmentally sustainable practices. Currently, 9 resorts in the chain hold Master Platinum certification, signifying 15 or more years of adherence to sound environmental practices.
With environmental protection written in the core mandate of the 5-star hotel chain, the company recently placed a ban on plastic straws and styrofoam at all 19 Sandals & Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean.