A worm welcome for waste grants funding at local motel
Guests staying at Taupō motel Bella Vista are helping keep some of the motel’s permanent residents well-fed, thanks to a grant from Taupō District Council.
The motel was one of the six recipients of a Waste Minimisation Fund Grant in 2021. The grants provide funding to individuals, community groups and organisations with innovative ideas to minimise waste.
Bella Vista Motel used their funding to implement a hungry bin worm farm which is serviced by individual food collection bins in each of the guest rooms. The portable worm farm composts up to 2kg of waste per day and provides a great environment for compost worms to live in.
Bella Vista owners Jason Ang and Miyuki Ando say they are always looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their environmental impact and the grant funding has been instrumental in helping them achieve their sustainability goals. It also contributed to the motel securing a Qualmark Silver rating.
The duo noticed that there was a large amount of food being left behind by guests or in the rubbish and thought that there must be a better way to deal with the waste.
“The hungry bin enables us to easily process organic waste from the motel on site - keeping it from landfill and in turn providing us with compost and fertiliser for our gardens and landscaping around the motel,” Jason says. “It’s a win-win.
“We have diverted around 500kg of food waste from going to landfill since we have had the hungry bin.”
Jason believes the initiative has contributed positively to the guest experience and encourages other local business owners to investigate the Waste Minimisation Fund.
“Small changes can collectively make a big difference to our local environment.”
Council environmental ranger Shannon Hanson is passionate about reducing waste and says that she is excited to see what ideas are submitted this year.
“Waste management practices are easily overlooked, and this is often due to little or no budget to purchase equipment or resources needed to make change. The grant encourages people to review their current practices and gives them the financial opportunity to bring new ideas to life.
"It’s awesome to see some of the positive environmental change that this fund has brought about, and we look forward to reviewing this year’s applications.”
The Waste Minimisation Fund Grant forms part of the Taupō District Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan. The $10,000 fund comes from the national waste levy, which is paid by landfill operators and distributed to local councils by the Ministry for the Environment. Applicants can apply for up to $2000 for their project.
If you have a great idea on how to reduce waste, reuse and recover materials, keep waste from landfill or raise waste awareness, applications to the Waste Minimisation Fund are open until March 11. More information is at www.taupo.govt.nz/grants or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Photo 1: Bella Vista motel owner Jason Ang shows the motel’s hungry bin worm farm to Brooks Harrison, 5.
- Photo 2: Motel guests can put food waste for the worm farm into special compost bins in each motel unit.
- Photo 3: Bella Vista’s hungry bin worm farm can break down 2kg of food waste daily.