The European Sustainable Development Strategy sets out the way in which we can meet our needs without worsening the quality of life of coming generations.
Among the many initiatives, in December 2015 a Plan of Action was presented for a circular economy in Europe. The circular economy aspires to reduce the generation of waste and take maximum advantage of that which it has not been possible to prevent from being generated.
All of us – citizens, public administrations and private enterprises – have the obligation of moving towards this model. And at Valoriza Medioambiente, step by step, we are doing this through initiatives such as the project developed recently in Tenerife, specifically at the Tigaiga Hotel in Puerto de la Cruz, with the implementation of Spain's first self-composting system.
The system consists of a machine for bio-waste of food origin installed at the hotel in Tenerife with the capacity to treat 17 tonnes of bio-waste a year, which will produce 2 tonnes of good quality compost to be used in the landscaped areas.
The tourists who stay at the hotel this summer are participating in a pilot which offers many benefits. On one hand it reduces the amount of waste which enters the public collection system and which is then sent to treatment plans and on the other it produces highend compost.
El Puerto Recicla project
The initiative, which was created in accordance with Act 22/2011 on Waste and Contaminated Land, has been incorporated into the El Puerto Recicla project, requested by the Puerto de la Cruz City Council as part of its 70/20 Plan, which aims to separate 70% of waste by 2020.
In addition, it falls within the agreement signed by the Tigaiga Hotel and Valoriza Medioambiente with the Cabildo de Tenerife (the governing body of the island of Tenerife). The aim is to implement the eco-innovative measure of “in situ self-composting”, as part of the European URBAN-WASTE project for reducing waste generation in tourist cities, financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme.
“This pilot seeks to facilitate the acquisition of know-how about the accomplishments of the EU's Horizon 2020 Programme and of the successive commitments set out in the guidelines of the circular economy package”, explained José Luis Salegui from Valoriza Medioambiente.
The firm commitment and backing by the Tigaiga Hotel with regard to sustainable environmental practices was the main reason which led the City Council to choose this hotel for the project. “The City Council knows that the Tigaiga Hotel separates all the fractions of waste it generates and then delivers it to the authorised managers in accordance with current legislation”, stated Salegui.
The hotel’s owners are aware of environmental regulation compliance and have internationally recognised seals and certifications relating to environmental management. “The staff is familiar with the practice of separating, and therefore it was only a case of training them to take on separating a new fraction under quality standards”, he clarified.
After an initial training period for the kitchen and maintenance staff and the adjustment to the composting machinery, during the month of July the depositing of organic material stabilised, producing approximately 40 kilograms per day, and it has been verified that the waste treatment process is operating normally, leading to high satisfaction levels.
In addition to the training received by the kitchen, restaurant and hotel maintenance personnel, the gardening staff have been given proper training about the characteristics of the compost that is regularly produced by the machine once the corresponding composting process has been completed.
All of them, together, are working on the same lines: commitment to sustainable development and the circular economy through innovation.