Mermaid Quay, the popular leisure destination right on the waterfront in the heart of Cardiff Bay, has won a silver Green Apple Environment Award in the international competition to find the greenest companies, councils, places and communities.
The centre competed against more than 500 other nominees in the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice. Centre manager Justin Patel was presented with a trophy and certificate at a ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament in London on Friday 11 November.
Following his appointment as Mermaid Quay Centre Manager in 2014, Justin Patel has introduced a range of environmentally friendly waste disposal and recycling schemes and initiatives throughout the centre.
Over the last two years Mermaid Quay has arranged for 100% of the general waste produced on site to be collected and taken to an environmentally efficient energy recovery centre, just four miles away, in Cardiff Bay. He has introduced a scheme to encourage the centre’s tenants to segregate waste on site, with Justin Patel working to find a bespoke solution for each tenant.
The most significant change has been the installation of a new BioNova C5 “digester” at Mermaid Quay that converts the centre’s food waste into a “digestate” which can be used as either a soil improver or a biomass fuel. The digestate is to be used for local landscaping projects. The digester has resulted in a 60% – 70% saving in waste disposal costs and significantly reduced vehicle movements associated with waste.
These systems have seen huge changes to the waste processes at Mermaid Quay and great benefits for the environment. Around 300 tonnes of food related waste is generated by the 30+ restaurants, cafes and bars at Mermaid Quay. Previously much of this would have been sent to landfill but now none of it is.
Justin Patel, Mermaid Quay, Centre Manager said: “I’m delighted that Mermaid Quay has won a Green Apple Environment Award and that the environmental waste and recycling practices we have introduced at the centre have been so recognised internationally. Working to protect and benefit the environment is so important and it has been great to see everyone at the centre, employees, tenants and visitors alike, all supporting the new waste schemes and initiatives that have been introduced.”
As a result of its Green Apple Award success, Mermaid Quay has been invited to have its winning paper published in The Green Book, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow its example and learn from its achievements.