Written By: Robert Kaefer
Canadore College, North Bay
Originally Published in the November 1993 issue of The Outfitter Magazine.


During the summer of 1993 the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation’s Environmental Youth Corps jointly sponsored a project with Canadore College. The project was named Waste Reduction Tourist Resorts. This project was initiated by Mr. Harry Burton, an instructor with the Environmental Biology program at Canadore College. Mr. Burton then hired two technical assistants, Miss Nancy Coneybeare, a graduate of the Environmental Biology program, and Mr. Robert Kaefer a third year student in the same program. Nancy and Robert adopted the title Waste Inventory Services for their new summer employment.

The goal of this project was to educate the resort operators from North Bay and surrounding areas with less then 75 beds as to the need for waste management. The simplest way of promoting waste management is to conduct a waste audit then devise a Waste Reduction Work Plan. The Waste Reduction Work Plan should assist the operators in their quest to reduce the amount of solid waste that their establishment produces and could even help them save money.


This project provided the service of the waste audit, and then presented a Waste Reduction Work Plan to the operator at no cost to the resort. Once the operators came forth and expressed an interest in the service, an appointment was then set for the actual waste audit. Nancy and Robert then categorized and weighed at least one total day’s garbage that was set aside by the resort operator. Each category’s weights were recorded for the final report which contained the Waste Reduction Work Plan. After completion of the waste audit the recorded data was then calculated into percentages by weight to make the interpretation simple. According to the data presented, a plan to divert waste from the landfill site could be devised. This plan is called the Waste Reduction Work Plan. This work plan consists of suggestions to the resort operator on how he or she can reduce the amount of solid waste going to the landfill. This is where knowledge of the three R’s was applied.

Over the course of the summer a total of six resort operators came forward and volunteered for this free service. Out of the six resorts two were hotels with restaurants, two were housekeeping cottages with trailer parks and the remaining two were strictly housekeeping cottages with lodges. Unfortunately no camps offering the American plan requested our services, therefore we have no data to present on American plan resorts.


Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 shown below, display the data that was gathered over the summer months. Keep in mind that there were only six resorts which took part in the project, therefore the sample size from which these numbers were generated is not proportional to the size of the tourist resort industry for the given area.


The most significant item when looking at the figures is the amount of compostable organics found in each of the pie charts. The lowest percentage of compostable organic matter was found to be in the rooms of hotel resorts, 13%.

The plastic items which fell under the Other Plastics heading were also found in large quantities. The largest percentage of other plastics was found in the trash coming from the housekeeping cottages, 13%. This would indicate that the occupants were not using the dishes and cutlery supplied but rather plastic plates and plastic cutlery.

One other item of interest would be the newsprint being generated by the rooms of the hotels, 18%. The other area (housekeeping cottages) also produces newsprint but in very small quantity compared to the rooms of hotels. This entire amount of newsprint could be recycled if it is uncontaminated. Today’s newspaper print shops must use a certain amount of recycled print in their final product.

The aluminum pop and beer cans do not seem very significant according to these pie charts because they are not very heavy, but they do occupy a large volume, which would make them significant. The charts were done using numbers from percent by weight calculations. This type of calculation assigns larger percentages to the heavier articles, and if you compare the weight of an aluminum can to the weight of some table scraps you will understand why the aluminum cans are not more prevalent in the pie charts.

Ideas for Personal Waste Reduction Work Plan

The following are some ideas that Harry, Nancy and Robert have come across during the project. These ideas could maybe work for you and your resort.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the resort owners and managers who came forward and expressed and interest in wanting to do what they could to help our environment and for giving us the chance to try and help. Maybe we can be of assistance to more people in the future. Hope your Waste Reduction Work Plans are of use to you in the future.


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