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Spicers Balfour Closes in on Zero Waste

November 18, 2019 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Brisbane luxury hotel Spicers Balfour is on track to become Queensland’s first zero waste hotel and the Spicers Group is challenging others in the hospitality industry to follow in their footsteps.

The five-star hotel and restaurant, part of the Spicers Retreats group, is now recycling 95 per cent of its waste. It now generates just one domestic wheelie bin of landfill waste per fortnight, down from a previous total of two 600-litre commercial wheelie bins per week.

Jude Turner, founder and owner of Spicers Retreats, is calling on others in the hospitality industry to join the hotel on its zero waste journey.

“Imagine what Australia would be like if all hotels recycled 95 per cent of their waste?” she said.

“And even better, what the world would be like if we could all find a way to recycle that last five per cent.”

During National Recycling Week (November 11 to 17, 2019), Spicers is keen to see environmental progress right across the hospitality industry.

“The team at Spicers is looking forward to working with other hotels and restaurants, industry in general and all levels of government, to find a way to reuse or recycle that last five per cent, for which no sustainable alternative or recycling service currently exists in Australia,” Mrs Turner said.

Spicers Balfour general manager Simon Magnus said he worked closely with Balfour Kitchen head chef Nick Stapleton to make changes right across the business, from the kitchen to the guest bathrooms and even the mini bar.

“It’s important that we are opinion leaders, that we lead the way, not only for Spicers, but prove to the rest of the industry – hotels and restaurants – that zero waste is possible if you put your mind and soul into it,” he said.

“You can actually achieve it quite quickly.”

Mr Magnus added there had been financial savings for the business and the initiatives have been welcomed by guests.

“With council’s landfill levy having increased, what we’re not putting into landfill will pay dividends in that regard,” he said.

“As for guests, they came on board a lot more than I thought would ever happen. We’re picking up a lot of guests purely because they know we’re a sustainable company.”

The changes have seen the elimination of hundreds of plastic prep containers from the restaurant kitchen, the specialist recycling of thousands of latex chef’s gloves a month, and the introduction of large, refillable amenities containers in guest bathrooms, replacing the plastic miniatures that ended up in landfill.

Key to success was close collaboration with kitchen suppliers who no longer supply produce in Styrofoam boxes or plastic bags, reducing the amount of waste that enters the premises in the first place.

Jude Turner, Kira Klein (General Manager Spicers Eco Active), Simon Magnus (Spicers Balfour Hotel General Manager) and Nick Stapleton (Balfour Kitchen Head Chef) are all available for interview.

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