Rotel decided to reduce its carbon footprint and turned to the Rotary Club Ottawa South (RCOS) Environment Committee for assistance.
In 1986 the Rotary Club of Ottawa South built Rotel (located at 411 Smyth Road), to provide affordable accommodations for outpatients during treatment at Ottawa area hospitals, as well as their family and friends. Rotel serves a clientele primarily from Eastern and Northern Ontario. (Many Rotary Clubs and other service clubs contributed to initial fundraising campaign.) The 51-room motel is self-sustaining and is efficiently managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and paid staff.
The Rotel Foundation Inc. Board of Directors decided to reduce their carbon footprint and take steps to make the motel operation more environmentally friendly. One of the steps is to reduce waste and implement a recycling program, and Rotel turned to the Rotary Club Ottawa South (RCOS) Environment Committee for assistance.
The RCOS Environment Committee was eager to help. They toured Rotel and did some initial research to determine standards in the hospitality sector and what would be feasible. The committee then prepared a brief with basic goals and a plan to establish a waste reduction and recycling program.
Following that brief, Rotel will be conducting a waste audit in late spring, hopefully with the assistance of a neighbouring high school. In the interim, Rotel has done the following:
  • Added several recycling bins to public areas (lobby, lounges and office). There is also a needle disposal bin in the office. Guests are encouraged to bring their recycling to these communal collection bins; and used needles to the front desk for proper disposal.
  • Enlisted Tomlinson Environmental Services to place 3 recycling bins outside. The materials are sorted and processed at the Tomlinson depot.
  • Rotel staff regularly empty the communal bins to the outdoor recycling containers for scheduled pick-up.
  • Ensure that all lighting replacements, as required, (bulbs and fixtures) will be LED.
The program has been quite successful over the past several months. Most guests are bringing recyclable items to the communal bins, and many have remarked positively on the program. In fact, Tomlinson started with just one outdoor recycling bin, and now three are filled every month. (Which hopefully will be impacted when more steps are taken to reduce waste overall.)
Laminated notices asking guests to recycle, and to make efforts to reduce their waste overall, will be added to all rooms. Over the coming months, Rotel will complete its waste audit and use government guidelines and resources referenced by the RCOS Environment Committee to further its waste reduction efforts.