Puntacana Resort & Club, Dominican Republic — a Zero Waste strategy
Situated in one of the Caribbean’s prime resorts, Puntacana Resort & Club has always taken a proactive approach towards waste management. Until 2007, waste from the resort was sent to a landfill in an old mine, which was not fit for purpose given rain would allow pollutants to leak out towards the local groundwater and the sea. To confront this, Puntacana Resort implemented a Zero Waste philosophy and approach. To do this properly, the company kick-started a waste separation programme for its resort, including 1010 housing units, the Punta Cana International Airport, and other facilities.
After establishing the correct waste separation strategy, Puntacana got to work educating local businesses and the community about using three separate containers for waste; recyclables, organic waste, and everything else. The resort also built a Center for Recycling and Incineration to sort recyclables from aeroplanes, and another building to sort waste from the community — across the two facilities, organic waste is composted, recyclable waste is reused, and everything else is incinerated. After seven years, the system is proving to be successful both financially and environmentally; close to 60% of the solid waste the resort produces is utilized in recycling, compost or other purposes rather than being sent to the landfill. Now, the resort hopes to take the solution to neighbouring communities.
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