April 22nd, 2016 marks the 46thanniversary of Earth Day, a day where the world comes together to celebrate successes and commit to taking further waste reduction and recycling actions in the future. While major strides have been made in Ontario’s residential waste reduction and recycling, Ontario businesses are not as active in waste reduction and recycling. According to the Peter Hargreaves from the Ontario Waste Management Association. “It is financially cost-prohibitive at this point in time for businesses to commit to a consistent waste reduction & recycling plan due to the logistics and transportation costs. The OWMA is looking at ways to support commercial recycling in a bigger way in Ontario.”
Despite all these challenges to commercial waste reduction and recycling, the two local Boardwalk Gaming facilities in Sudbury and Val Caron have made it their mission in 2015 onwards to make waste reduction and recycling part of their business culture.
Both Boardwalk Gaming Centres set out a waste reduction plan with a goal to reduce and divert waste by 50%. The two centres are celebrating a milestone this Earth Day by surpassing their goals and reducing their waste by 85%.
So how did they do it? Their strategy was to remove all but 5 waste bins in their facilities and replace them with small portable table-top recycling bins and main recycling stations. “There was some extensive customer education to inform our customers on what is recyclable and motivate them to adopt the recycling initiative at first,” comments Shaun St. Michel, Boardwalk Gaming Sudbury’s Facility Manager. “Initially without the education customers were a little reluctant, but once they realized the positive impact of the recycling initiative many customers came on board and actually assist us at making sure our recycling remains as recycling,” adds St. Michel.
In terms of customer education Boardwalk Gaming has “…posted messages on their in-house screens to inform customers of what products [are] in fact recyclable.” says St. Michel. He added that this was “most notably paper bingo cards, pocket slot products, and empty bingo dabbers which contribute to the majority of [the] waste.”
“Boardwalk Gaming is very pleased with our customer engagement in our recycling process, the significant impact it’s had on reducing and diverting our waste products and how it has brought our staff and customers together on making a difference,” adds St. Michel.