Sounds lodges creative with disposal of waste
Lodge operators in the Marlborough Sounds are using novel methods to minimise waste and its impact on the environment.
Bay of Many Coves Resort co-manager Nick Goodhew said the challenges and extra expense of rubbish disposal prompted most residents and accommodation suppliers to develop waste minimisation plans.
No roads lead to the five-star resort and restaurant in the Queen Charlotte Sound, so even if there were a regular rubbish pickup service, it would not be of use to them, he said.
Because they relied largely on water taxis to fetch and carry all staff, guests, supplies and rubbish, it chose Arrow Water Taxis, which used biofuel, he said.
"It comes at cost, but it's something that has to be done. We live in a pristine environment."
All fresh produce and chilled products shipped into the lodge arrived in reusable wooden crates or polystyrene boxes.
Their neighbour's pigs benefited from the food scraps from the restaurant kitchen and waste was sent to the landfill by water taxi, with plastics and cardboard separated and flattened, he said.
The resort was the first accommodation supplier in the Sounds to buy the Expleco glass-crushing machine designed in Marlborough specifically for the hospitality trade, he said.
The machine, the size of a green wheelie bin, crushed glass bottles down to a 10th of the size, creating a fine coloured sand with no sharp edges.
The sand was piled up out of the way and mixed into concrete for maintenance and making paths, he said.
Other accommodation providers have the glass-crushing machine, including Furneaux Lodge, whose staff were seen by tourists dumping about 20 buckets of the sand into the Sound earlier this year.
Furneaux Lodge owner Geoff Faulkner said yesterday he did not want to comment on the incident to the Marlborough Express, but Marlborough District Council staff have been assured lodge staff were no longer dumping the sand.
Mr Faulkner said the incident had been blown out of proportion, but did not want to give any further explanation.
Council environment protection officer Jane Robertson said last week that dumping waste in the Marlborough Sounds was prohibited and would be investigated before deciding what enforcement action would be taken.
Lochmara Lodge marketing manager Allanah Robinson said the eco-lodge has focused on waste minimisation because there are no recycling centres close by.
"Recycling in the Sounds is a big deal," she said.
"There is no equivalent to kerbside recycling out here, so we have to manage it ourselves."
The sand from their glass crushing machine was used in retaining walls, landscaping and track maintenance.
- The Marlborough Express