Cleaner, greener moun­tain re­sort

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

ABOUT 100 tonnes of garbage is now be­ing re­cy­cled each win­ter as part of Mt Hotham’s com­mit­ment to re­duce waste.

But re­sort man­age­ment says fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion will re­sult in even greater ben­e­fits for the en­vi­ron­ment.

It says the three stream re­cy­cling not only re­duces the amount of hard waste that goes into the ground at land­fill, but also cuts green­house gas emis­sions which con­trib­ute to cli­mate change, con­serv­ing nat­u­ral re­sources, and pre­vent­ing pol­lu­tion by re­duc­ing need to col­lect raw ma­te­ri­als.

Mount Hotham’s solid waste su­per­vi­sor Rod­ney Hod­son said there were many ad­van­tages in the three-bin sys­tem at Mount Hotham.

“By hav­ing the three sep­a­rate streams from an en­vi­ron­men­tal point of view, we are putting less of it into the ground, which means we are con­sid­er­ing its cost fac­tor and car­bon foot­print,” he said.

“About 48-49 per cent of our col­lected garbage is re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als which is 90–100 tonnes per year, maybe a bit more de­pend­ing year to year.

“Prior to re­cy­cling, ev­ery­thing went to land­fill. I think we have only fif­teen years left on land­fill, so best to save space and take all the re­cy­clable goods out, so we can save on costs to cart ev­ery­thing off the hill,” he said.

Over win­ter, the garbage col­lec­tors carry out a daily run around the lodges and com­mer­cial build­ings.

All garbage is then trans­ported to Danny’s Shed, where it is sep­a­rated into solid waste, food waste or re­cy­clables and is then trans­ported to their rel­e­vant des­ti­na­tions.

Mount Hotham has a solid waste and food waste com­post­ing sys­tem at Cobun­gra and the re­cy­clables are pro­cessed at Danny’s Shed and then taken to Wan­garatta.

Mr Hod­son said that it was all about ed­u­cat­ing the lod­gies, guests and com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors on the im­por­tance of us­ing the three-bin sys­tem.

“When peo­ple cross-con­tam­i­nate th­ese things it’s a prob­lem be­cause you can have a bag full of re­cy­cling and it’s got food waste through it, so it then be­comes garbage,” he said.

“A lot of lodges don’t have a man­ager, so you’re talk­ing to them ev­ery week be­cause you get new peo­ple ev­ery week. With com­mer­cials, it’s a bit dif­fer­ent you have to push it a bit more, it’s just ed­u­ca­tion and time.

“Bulk of the lodges and apart­ments are re­ally good, it’s some of the com­mer­cials and big apart­ment ar­eas that we have trou­ble with be­cause they are old build­ings and they haven’t got the room to have three bins. A lot of re­cy­cling gets mixed in with garbage, it’s an on­go­ing prob­lem but it is get­ting bet­ter.”

Tour groups can visit the re­cy­clable shed to see and un­der­stand the process that is used to sep­a­rate the dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of garbage, and a morn­ing tea is usu­ally pro­vided on this oc­ca­sion.

“We get a lot of kids com­ing down and they are on top of it be­cause they are taught at school,” Mr Hod­son said.

“It helps peo­ple see and un­der­stand that we do sep­a­rate our waste and not just col­lect it all and throw it away, so they can see their time taken is go­ing to­wards the greater good.”

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