Partnering with Jamaica Recycles, Sandals South Coast has taken a bold step towards better handling and recycling waste material with the recent installation of a brand new recycling baler unit at the resort.
Balers are machines used to compact and bind, or ‘bale’ waste or recyclable material for improved ease of handling, transportation, storage, and recycling.
The baler unit at Sandals South Coast, which was installed by the team from Jamaica Recycles, will be cardboard, white plastic (hdpe), clear plastic (pete) and aluminum cans.
Each completed bale is expected to be approximately 450 lbs of plastic and 1200 lbs of cardboard.
Jamaica Recycles currently offers a recycling baler service to 27 hotels along the island’s coasts from Negril to Ocho Rios. Following the installation of the unit at Sandals South Coast, Business Development Manager, Richard Campbell conducted a demonstration of how to operate the unit with key resort personnel.
“We’re excited about the partnership with Sandals South Coast and the reception we received from the team there. It’s an ideal initiative for the resort as, based on what we’ve seen, they already had a culture of recycling,” said Campbell. He noted that his team at Jamaica Recycles is confident that the recycling baler unit will work for Sandals South Coast and external entities in the area primarily because this model will allow the resort to contain as much recyclables as possible and efficiently move it. “For us the transportation is much cheaper and more efficient and it allows the hotel to accommodate a larger amount of its own recyclable material as well as materials from other outlets, without taking up much space.”
According to Gavin Palmer, Corporate Manager for Environment, Health and Safety at Sandals Resorts International (SRI), this partnership signifies a continuation of the environmental efforts already underway within Sandals Resorts. Sandals Resorts in Barbados, for example, had baler units installed since inception and a similar unit was recently installed at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay.
He expects that the installation of the recycling baler unit will cut the amount of waste going out of the resort by around 50%.
“Currently the resort produces nine 30-yard compactor units of garbage per month along with two uncompact units that are collected by Jamaica Waste Disposal and taken directly to the landfill,” says Vilma Smith, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager at Sandals South Coast. She noted that while the resort has spearheaded several initiatives geared at waste separation, finding a partner that is consistent in collecting the recyclable items has proven very difficult and so they are often left with loads of recyclable materials that eventually overflow the designated holding areas and become unsightly.
“The installation of the baler unit will assist us in better handling and storing recyclables and in drastically diverting a lot of the waste that goes to the landfill,” this says Palmer as the company continues working towards reducing its carbon footprint.
There is also a substantial cost reduction benefit to having the unit installed. “For each compactor that we move the cost is significant, therefore reducing the amount of compactor units going out each month will result in cost savings for us,” he added.
HOW IT WORKS
Campbell explained that once the unit is installed and the relevant training completed, the resort will be responsible for separating recyclables internally and placing them in their respective holding areas. Once the bale or compressed material is made and ejected from the machine, the bales will be collected and transported, along with those from other hotels along the route, to the recycling factory in Kingston, where they are opened up and rebaled into larger bales. They are then loaded onto containers and shipped overseas to various recycling mills and manufacturing companies which use the raw material to make new products.
Campbell noted that thus far the installation of the units in hotels has proven to be quite successful but reiterated that the responsibility is really that of the hotels to ensure the system works by maximizing on use of the equipment and the amount of material it recycles.
According to Smith, in addition to collecting recyclables from Sandals South Coast, there are plans in place to extend the services of the baler unit to select partner schools that have already been identified. “The schools utilize a lot of plastics and juice cans and well-supported recycling programs within the schools are few,” she said. “Our Environment, Health, and Safety Guardian team would, therefore, go into the schools to educate and help the students to set up proper waste separation programs. Once the programs start, we [Sandals South Coast] will collect the items and have them baled.”
Jamaica Recycles ships between 600-800 tonnes of recyclable material overseas each month.