The Balearic island of Menorca, just off Spain’s Mediterranean coast, receives 1.4 million visitors a year. While this tourism is vital for the local economy, it also places a huge pressure on the island’s resource management.
Green Steps helped the local government’s Department of Waste and Energy to understand the challenges their hotels were having with waste management and to enable them to recycle more.
Menorca is blessed with natural beauty and a wonderful climate; factors which help attract tourists to its restaurants and hotels every year. Tourism is the main engine of growth for the economy, with tourism related industry making up more than 40 percent of regional GDP.
The island holds the status of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its diverse Mediterranean island ecosystem, home to some 220 species of birds and 1,000 species of plants, 60 of which are endemic to the island.
With all those tourists comes a lot of waste! On average, every hotel guest creates 1kg of waste per night. Menorca receives over 1.4 million tourists per year, so this waste quickly adds up.
As an island, they face unique problems when it comes to managing this waste. Their one landfill site is reaching capacity and when it does, they will have to send waste to the neighbouring island of Mallorca, incurring significantly higher waste management costs. It was therefore imperative that they found a way to increase recycling rates associated with tourism and reduce the amount of waste that the hostelry sector generated.
Menorca is also subject to European targets to increase the proportion of waste that they recycle. As of 2016, they were recycling only 20% of all waste and they needed to increase this to 50% by 2020.
Green Steps helped Menorca to improve their waste & recycling service for hostelry establishments by providing the following services:
- Detailed study of the existing barriers to recycling - Our recycling and waste management consultant conducted a study of the hotels on the island, designing a questionnaire to understand the barriers that prevented establishments from recycling more of their waste.
- Waste management practices workshop - We ran a training day for managers from the hostelry sector, that was focused on the specific challenges that surfaced in the questionnaire. The workshop provided attendees with practical action points that they could implement within their own establishments to improve their waste management systems and offer their guests a greener stay.
- Executive report and strategy roadmap - Analysing the survey data, we created a detailed report to enable Menorca’s Department of Waste & Energy to understand the factors that contributed to low engagement and recycling rates.
- Good Practice Guide for Tourism Establishments - Finally, we created a good practice guide to waste management for the hostelry sector of the island. The guide provides easy to understand instructions and information to break through the knowledge and attitude barriers that can impede recycling.
The original study generated an in-depth understanding of what was preventing hostelry establishments from recycling as much as they could. These results informed the direction of our consultation.
The workshop and good practice guide raised awareness within the hostelry sector and provided establishments with the knowledge to be able to implement better management practices within their own operations.
The executive report provided Menorca’s Department of Waste and Energy with a roadmap that spans several years to improve their communication in order to counter the knowledge and attitude barriers. Over the years, this will enable hostelry establishments to recycle more things, more often.
The report also provided action points for how the department could improve their infrastructure to remove some of the situational barriers that establishments encountered, impeding them from recycling more.
Green Step’s practical consultation and thought leadership enabled Menorca to reshape their recycling operations and communication strategy, in order to better service their hostelry sector and increase recycling rates.