Montecasino, the flagship property in Johannesburg of gaming, hotel and leisure group Tsogo Sun, has measured dramatic environmental savings in 2012. Through several strategic waste recycling initiatives, Montecasino’s savings included over four million litres of water, 4.2 million KW/h of electricity, close on 400 million litres of oil, 2,640 trees, almost 550,000kg of waste, and 603,000m2 of CO2.
“These savings are a proud achievement for us as they endorse our commitment to educating staff, tenants and suppliers on the importance of protecting our environment and of reducing our carbon footprint for immediate benefit and for future generations,” says Glenn Joseph, general manager at Montecasino.
He notes that the precinct has been green-centric since it first opened its doors. “We are constantly on the lookout for new initiatives that can create a more eco-friendly environment. The introduction of our Environmental Policy Statement which details our commitment to unique water and energy saving projects, and waste recycling projects, such as our Bokashi Bin and wood chipper projects, are just some initiatives we have already implemented.”
The three hotels within Montecasino, The Palazzo Montecasino, SunSquare and Southern Sun Montecasino, are part of the precinct’s commitment towards greater environmental friendliness, and together with Montecasino, have established sustainable environmental management practices in areas such as procurement, resource and waste management and extending environmental awareness and responsibility to staff, business partners and guests.
Other initiatives that are contributing to Montecasino’s environmentally friendly status include extensive water saving projects. “The 38ha grounds, which include the gardens, are irrigated with borehole water and rain water captured via a storm water system that flows into our on-site dam,” says Joseph. Added to this, rain sensors have been installed at all irrigation boxes that automatically shut off the irrigation system when rainfall exceeds five millimetres.
Energy saving is given careful consideration and among the initiatives is the installation of energy efficient lighting in all the covered parking areas and back-of-house areas.
Recycling has been implemented across all activities on the property with all tenants operating on wet and dry waste bins, which assists in the sorting process in the waste area. “All waste is recycled at a level of 75% of waste generated on the property. These levels are increasing all the time as we continue on our education and awareness drive through our Environmental Policy Statement and constant reinforcement by way of posters and messaging across the precinct and Montecasino Bird Gardens highlighting to staff, tenants, suppliers, visitors, and guests the value of recycling, how they can contribute, and what difference it will make to their and their children’s future.” Joseph stresses that education is key to the increasing success of the greening programme.
Last year Montecasino introduced a new food waste recycling initiative, called Bokashi Bin – bokashi is Japanese for organic fermented matter. This involves recycling all pre-prepared foods, through a process of layering anaerobic digesters food waste, such as skins, peels, bones, seeds, pips, and excess food left on plates, with Bokashi where a fermentation process occurs to produce compost. To date, the system has generated 50 tons of compost from waste that otherwise would have been sent to landfills. The compost is used in the entertainment destination’s grounds and gardens.
Taking recycling to another level, Montecasino has also invested in a wood chipper which allows the company to make its own mulch for the gardens from the trees that have been crown lifted or pruned on the property.