Reserva Conchal a Leader in Sustainable Waste Management Practices

Reserva Conchal a Leader in Sustainable Waste Management Practices

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Reserva Conchal a Leader in Sustainable Waste Management Practices.  Most humans are taught that the responsible way to dispose of garbage is to put it in the trash. Then we move on with our lives. Typically, we give little thought to what happens to the various pieces of food, paper, plastic, tin and other unused or used up materials that we place in the garbage on a daily basis.

At Reserva Conchal, these discarded items are not an afterthought, but something hundreds of employees manage and think about on a daily basis.

Reserva Conchal is setting an example
in waste management
and inspiring others in our community to do the same.


Waste is usually categorized into five different categories: liquid, solid, organic, recyclable and hazardous. Reserva Conchal has put significant time and energy into classifying, separating and managing all of these waste products by adopting the most environmentally, socially and economically prudent practices. Staff teams work diligently seeking the most appropriate vendors to dispose of or recycle waste in the most beneficial ways for Costa Rica. These practices have often been shared with and modeled by other organizations. More importantly, Reserva Conchal employee themselves learn the value of treating waste with respect and disposing of it in a correct and responsible way.

An admirable example has been set by the Westin Hotel at Reserva Conchal, where 85 percent of the total waste items produced are reused or recycled to minimize the environmental impact.

From food frying to fuel

One impressive example is the disposal of used cooking oil (liquid waste) from kitchens on the premises for processing into biodiesel fuel. Vendor verification assures that the oil is safely transported to a facility that cleans and repurposes it for further use in a more responsible form of fuel consumption.

Hazardous and solid wastes that cannot be recycled are removed from Reserva Conchal for safe and responsible disposal off-site. That includes car batteries, lubricating oils, batteries, and flourescent lights. Arrangements are in place with certified vendors who face significant financial repercussions for non-compliance under Costa Rican law.

Other reusable waste find its own avenue of new life through Reserva Conchal’s in-house recycling program. Materials that are separated and prepared for transport include #1 and #2 plastics, aluminum beverage and food cans, glass containers, tetra-paks and paper goods. As part of a national recycling strategy, these sorted items are taken to a Santa Cruz facility for sale to various reprocessing companies. The proceeds are then returned to the Santa Cruz government for improvement projects.

Organic magic

Organic waste management is a special success story of recycling ingenuity at Reserva Conchal. Restaurant and hotel food waste is taken to an on-site facility where it is meticulously tilled for four weeks. This creates a sweet-smelling, nutrient-filled compost of incomparable quality, which is then spread throughout the resort’s golf courses, green areas and gardens.

Famed author Ray Bradbury wrote, “Ours is a culture and a time immensely rich in trash as it is in treasures.” Reserva Conchal treats its trash as treasure and reaps the rewards. Through the extensive recycling programs in the Westin and W hotels, the company is educating guests on the need to be mindful of where their trash is going when throwing it away. But more importantly, the treasure is in knowing that employees of Reserva Conchal are taking back these practices to their homes and educating their families and friends on proper waste disposal.

Waste is a part of their lives and they are changing Costa Rica and the world, one piece of trash at a time.

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