“You can’t change the world; you can’t fix the whole environment. But you can recycle.” Patti Smith, musician

Tsogo Sun and Montecasino, in partnership with Miss Earth South Africa, hosted a Waste Dialogue at the Montecasino Recycling Depot on Thursday, 13 September during Clean-up and Recycle SA Week, to discuss the serious issues presented by unmanaged waste, the vital importance of recycling and the critical roles citizens can play in reducing our impact on the environment. This year’s annual Clean-up & Recycle SA Week will culminate in the first ever global World Clean-up Day on Saturday, 15 September 2018.

In support of Montecasino’s efforts to reduce the quantity of waste generated, tenants of the entertainment destination signed a pledge recommitting to the principles of the #WasteStopsWithME campaign.

Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, explains, “Our commitment to responsible waste management has been integral to the property’s strategic plans since we first opened in 2000, with initiatives constantly evolving and improving over the years, in line with Tsogo Sun’s property-specific environmental management systems focused mainly on energy, water, waste management, and responsible sourcing.”

Montecasino (https://www.tsogosun.com/montecasino)  has a progressive tenant agreement that covers the environmental management system in detail and requires co-operation in areas such as waste management and minimisation, energy and water management, and awareness and training of staff and customers.

Ongoing environmentally responsible initiatives with Montecasino’s tenants include ‘The Last Straw’ campaign, where tenants are encouraged to eliminate the use of plastic straws due to the lasting damage they do to the environment, particularly the oceans, and to replace plastic cups with biodegradable cups.

The #WasteStopsWithME Dialogue on 13 September was moderated by Generation Earth’s founder, Ella Bella Constantinides Leite, and included panel discussions about waste statistics in South Africa, how the waste industry functions, and business challenges and opportunities.  It included participation by Tsogo Sun(https://www.tsogosun.com)  and Miss Earth South Africa, packaging companies, waste management organisations, the Department of Environmental Affairs, and the UN Environmental Programme. The event was held at the Montecasino Waste Depot to highlight the property’s steadily growing recycling efforts, which are currently at about 40% of waste, with aims to up the levels to 45% by year end.

Catherine Constantinides, International Climate Activist, also at the dialogue,  says, “The waste discussion has been elevated globally over the past year because of engaged and active citizens, civil society organisations and influencers who understand the urgency of the waste crisis we are facing across the world. Being responsible means we Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but added to that, we must Respect our environment and Rethink our behaviour. This dialogue brought important stakeholders and thought leaders into this space to engage, discuss and unpack where we are and what these buzz terms mean, as business moves forward in a more responsible, ethical and conscious manner. Collaborative discussions with facts and figures enable stakeholders to effectively work together to change behaviour, and understand the realities of waste in our country, and the consumer landscape.”

The dialogue brought together Plastics SA, the Paper Recycling Association of SA, SAPPI, Tetra Pak, Nampak, MetPac SA, UN Development Programme, the Department of Environmental Affairs, and the City of Joburg.

Montecasino’s waste is managed by Interwaste at the on-site depot, where waste is sorted and separated, compacted, and transported to different depots for recycling, and to landfills. As a community service, Montecasino also has public recycling facilities adjacent to the Pivot that are available to customers and staff, for glass, cardboard and paper, tins, and e-waste such as batteries or globes, which all feed into Montecasino’s waste stream, and which local residents are encouraged to use to increase levels of recycling.

Earlier this year Montecasino installed a Joraform Bio-container, imported from Sweden, in the staff dining room, where over 1 500 meals are produced daily, to create compost from food waste in two-week cycles. An additional machine will be installed by December 2018 to turn further food waste on the property into compost for use in Montecasino’s extensive gardens and at the Bird Gardens.

Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s GM of Corporate Affairs, says combined efforts by the private and public sectors, institutions, and individuals, to raise awareness of the need for recycling will pay increasing dividends. “A report by Stats SA, titled Environment, in-depth analysis of the General Household Survey 2002-2016, states that 12.9% of metropolitan households reported that they recycle, with 10.8% in urban areas and 3% in rural areas, indicating that the vast majority of households do not recycle household waste. With initiatives such as Miss Earth South Africa’s #WasteStopsWithME campaign and Tsogo Sun and Montecasino’s focus on responsible waste management, we can grow the public understanding of the reality that all waste must be reduced, recycled or reused, and that when we throw something away, there is no ‘away’.”

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