Managing Golf Waste in the Clubhouse and Along the Course
If you were designing an entertainment complex with a waste stream that's hard to handle, you couldn't do much better than a golf course. These oases of relaxation (or frustration, depending on how your game is going) combine all the worst challenges in the waste handling industry: Tremendous distances between garbage cans, food waste from the clubhouse restaurant, and no ending — ever — of grass clippings and other yard waste.
A few innovative golf course managers have figured out how to use these challenges to their own favor, though. It turns out that the "zero-waste" golf course is more than just a dream. Some golf courses are nearly there already. Here's how they managed to pull off a green revolution on the links and how any ambitious course manager can do the same thing:
- Start with recycling.Don't despair if you're late to the recycling party. All it takes is a series of recycling bins in the clubhouse and along the course, a golf cart fitted with bins, and a quick, reliable way to empty those various bins into their designated dumpsters at your pickup location.
Bin Tippers from Solus Group are ideal for the final task. They work quickly to empty full trash cans, speeding up sorting time at the dumpsters. More importantly, they're highly portable, so they won't get in the way between trips, and they're designed for full indoor/outdoor use, so you can store them where it's convenient.
- Once you have a plan for your recyclables, it's time to handle the green, brown, and fatty wastes.That is, it's time to start composting.
Golf courses are treasure troves of nutrient-rich organic matter. They're also heavy consumers of fertilizers themselves. Why not put those two conditions together to create a zero-waste loop?
The USGA describes one California golf course that uses a combination of vermiform and traditional green waste composting. Workers at the course throw lawn clippings and shredded stray branches and dried leaves to a regular compost bin.
Meanwhile, the clubhouse restaurant collects most food waste into special food composters loaded with earthworms. Thanks to the worms' appetites, staff can now compost meats and fat — at least up to 10 percent of the total composter load.
In another USGA environmental case study, food and maintenance departments at a popular golf club began to use a technique called Bokashi composting, which introduces microorganisms to the scraps through inoculated grains. This pickles the food waste, eliminating unpleasant odors and the attraction of pests. It also makes it safe to compost meats and cheeses, which are not welcome in other forms of composting.
Again, Bin Tippers can help staff complete these tasks without loss of productivity or the risk of injury associated with lifting and emptying full, heavy kitchen trash cans and compost bins.
- Partner with existing environmental organizations.A little help can go a long way toward improving waste handling at golf courses. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP) has been helping golf course managers improve their environmental footprints since 1991.
The ACSP can help managers make environmental plans, set goals, and monitor progress. This goes a long way toward meeting the objectives of any new waste management plan.
Bulk Golf Ball Collection with Bin Tippers
Of course, waste isn't the only material handling challenge at a busy golf course. Collecting balls from the driving range alone can be a full time job, and when it comes time to wash them, your Bin Tippers can come in handy once again.
Essentially, any time you need to lift and empty bulk containers, a Bin Tipper from Solus Group will make the task safer, quicker, and easier to integrate into the day-to-day operation of any golf course.
"Environmental Management Practices for Golf Courses." AudubonInternational. Audubon International, n.d. PDF. 19 Dec. 2017.
Gross, Patrick. "A 'Zero Waste' Golf Course: Is It Possible?" USGA. United States Golf Association, 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Dec. 2017.
"Zero-Waste Kitchen Contributes to Golf Maintenance Operation." USGA. United States Golf Association, 6 May 2016. Web. 19 Dec. 2017.