An E&O hotel staff disposing of the food waste in specials bins

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel (E&O) leads the way for a greener and safer earth by reducing the carbon footprint by sending their food waste to be converted into bio- organic fertiliser.

By working with a local company, Future Earth which was established in 2010, the partnership saw them producing bio-organic fertiliser from food waste by using a micro-biotic fermentation method.

Recycled food waste turned into fertilizer

In April, the hotel sent its first batch of food waste from the kitchen to Future Earth and have received three bags of bio-organic fertiliser weighing 25kg each in return as part of the exchange programme.

The fertiliser, which will be used for landscaping of the grounds of the hotel, is chemical free with higher nutrient count, ensuring that the plants are organic with a better growth rate and quality.

Following the success of the first operation, the hotel management is currently heavily invested on this project as they aim to become more environmentally friendly – in line with the Penang government’s campaign for a Cleaner, Greener Penang.

Future Earth representative Joshua Chng said they were motivated to push forward this initiative after seeing the potential of producing a product from organic waste which is beneficial to the society and the environment in the long run.

“Our aim is to promote this initiative to as many people in the community with the hope that major organisations and people in Penang could use the bio-organic fertiliser for their landscape, plantation and urban farming activities,” he said.

There are currently 16 food waste collection bins being rotated daily at the hotel as Future Earth collects eight bins every day.

All staff are constantly reminded to use the bins wisely, making sure all food waste does not end up in the landfills.

Meanwhile, E&O Hotel general manager Alison Fraser said with Future Earth, the hotel has found a very strong partner with the same vision to recycle food waste and be more eco-conscious.

“We are taking steps to reduce our impact on the environment and this reproduction of food waste into bio-organic fertiliser is one of the many projects that we will be carrying out to help make the hotel a greener place,” said Fraser in a press statement..

Besides participating in Earth Hour on an annual basis and recycling papers, plastics and glass items, the hotel has also implemented other types of conservation activities.

Already in place is a mechanism where the rooms at the Victory Annexe are programmed to be on energy saving mode for the air conditioning system to be automatically turned off whenever guests leave the balcony sliding door open, and to be reactivated when the door is closed.

Hotel guests are also often reminded and encouraged to help protect the environment with small gestures such as agreeing to reuse their bed linens and towels instead of having the housekeeping staff replace new ones daily.

This will contribute to the conservation of water and detergent needed to wash the linens and towels daily by segregating it over a couple of days instead.

As of now the hotel is progressing towards becoming a plastic-free establishment to reduce the amount of plastic waste piling up in landfills by replacing plastic straws and container boxes with ones made of paper in its food outlets.

All laundry bags in the suites are also made of non-woven materials instead of plastic as the management proceeds to reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic usage.