Inspiring Story: The Beach Hotel Byron Bay

The Beach Hotel Byron Bay is a popular beachside destination in Northern NSW. The hotel consists of a 25-room resort, bistro and bottle shop, as well as the town’s most famous pub with its iconic beer garden overlooking the main beach of Byron Bay. The hotel has a staff of 150, including General Manager Elke van Haandel who has been the driving force behind improvements to its waste management systems.

Recycling & Green Initiatives

Vision

The Byron Bay Beach Hotel was approached by a local company, Recycle Your World, to take part in a 2-week trial. Elke says she was very fortunate to have the opportunity fall in her lap to try a waste management solutions model.

The idea behind the trial was to look at all their systems for waste management and try and improve them one by one with the aim of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

Planning & Implementation

Initially, the trial kicked off to assess the hotel's waste management issues and worked through solving each one. Together with Recycle Your World they started with their supply chain, changing over their coffee cups, ramekins, plastic beer cups and other products to compostable alternatives. They then set up different bins so staff could dispose of waste properly to maximise their conversion rate (converting waste to resource).

For the trial to be successfully implemented all staff needed to be onboard with the changes. The hotel held staff meetings, produced signage and circulated memo's ensuring that all staff from managers to bar and wait staff were actively engaged in the process and communicating the same messages.

"We have been working together closely to address each issue as it arises and we now have a well oiled machine with minimal issues" says Elke.

Results and Benefits

The Beach Hotel is now achieving a diversion rate of 85% from landfill! This equates to 30 tonnes a month of reusable resources being recycled.

 " ...the conversion of 20% recycling to 85% is our proudest achievement. We have shown the community that it can be done, being one of the bigger businesses in town, if we can do it, anyone can".

The food waste from the hotel is now being turned into compost. Some side benefits of that include the reduction in ibis’ scavenging their laneway bins and the reduction in smell.

Elke and her team are now keen to make further sustainable improvements such as running recycled water through their toilets and irrigation and increasing the number of solar panels.

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