South Lodge Hotel Case Study

Sector: Hospitality
Equipment: A900 Rocket Composter and Dehydra Dewaterer

The backstory

Built in 1883, South Lodge is a luxury spa hotel located in Sussex, and is set among a backdrop of 93 acres of park and woodland.

But the exclusive venue doesn’t only pride itself on its first-class wellness service, it’s also passionate about boosting its green credentials and offering an eco-friendly retreat – as seen by its ‘Exclusively Green Programme’.

Each of the sites within the ‘Exclusive Collection’ of hotels has a green team that provides the input and testing of an array of carbon emission reducing technologies, such as solar panels, biomass boilers, LED lighting, and electric service vehicles.

As part of its sustainability strategy, the group owner and managing director, Danny Peccorelli, had a mission for the chain to achieve zero waste to landfill, and also maximise its recycling practices. As a result, South Lodge’s team were keen to investigate new ways to deal with the most ‘troublesome’ waste of all – food.

The challenge

Producing over two tonnes of food waste per week, the idyllic venue was not only negatively impacted by the financial costs of transporting this waste off site, but it was also going against the chain’s green ethos.

By having its waste collected and disposed of by a third-party company meant that there were a high number of vehicle movements – significantly increasing the hotel’s carbon footprint.

A solution was needed that would allow it to omit the waste-handling middlemen and close the food waste management loop.

Setting the scene
Setting the scene
Setting the scene
Setting the scene

The solution

After weighing up the options between both composting and anaerobic digestion, the permanent, on-site method won the vote – seeing the Michelin-starred venue invest in an in-vessel A900 Rocket Composter and Dehydra Compact Dewaterer.

The new method means that the food waste is pre-treated in the kitchen by the dewatering machine – which reduces the volume by up to 80% and the weight by 50%.

The resulting compost resource – which is ‘ready’ in just 14 days – is then used as a nutrient-rich fertiliser in the gardens, where fresh produce is grown for the restaurant.

This circular model enables the hotel to be in control of their own waste management and set a model example to the industry.

“Exclusively Green means that not only do we deliver an exceptional guest experience, but deliver it with a clear environmental conscience. Aside from the cost element], there have been lots of added benefits we’ve noticed since it was installed […] fewer large vehicles on site and noises from collections, [decreased] requirements for pest control, and [an omission of] odours – it all adds up.”

Trevor Barnard, Group Purchasing Manager.