Back of the Haus – Waste to Wealth at Soneva Fushi

3 mins read

We flew up to Soneva Fushi to observe how they handle their waste. The Baa Atoll property’s Waste to Wealth programme is innovative and well-known and we go over some of its key components at the resort’s waste management depot Eco Centro. These include composting, reusing Styrofoam, aluminium, glass and more. Some of it seems pretty far out and we didn’t expect anything less from a property known for a very pronounced creative streak, especially when it comes to problem-solving.

Aluminium cans are collected at source and compacted at Eco Centro. It receives around 80kgs of aluminium a week. It’s all melted down to produce items that the resort needs such as door handles and curtain fixtures. Eco Centro also compacts cardboard, which Soneva Fushi uses to transport its food in an effort to reduce their intake of Styrofoam. The cardboard is then sent over to Thilafushi where a private company, Secure Bag, recycles the material.

They make charcoal here too, putting jungle trimmings and used coconut shells to good (re)use. They are placed in the special oven and left for about a week. And the resulting material is sold to F&B outlets at the resort. 

A staff collects coconuts daily from around the island and they’re brought to Eco Centro. The coconuts are then husked and pressed for coconut oil. The resort produces about 60 litres per week and it’s sent to F&B outlets and sold to guests. The coconut husks are further processed to make coconut fibre and coconut peat, which goes to the gardens.

Glass is broken down in a glass crushing machine and reused, along with Styrofoam, to make bricks. These are then used in repairs and renovation around the property. Soneva Fushi has an ingenious use for clear glass, which is also crushed and upcycled to produce glass art at the resort’s Glass Studio.

Composting is a big deal at Soneva Fushi. Kitchen waste is collected and mixed with waste from the garden. Bacteria is introduced to the mixture to breakdown food material further. It’s then fed into an industrial machine to hasten the composting process. 

The mix is then bagged for a week, and the bags are emptied and turned to spread out the heat and for further breakdown. It’s done every three days till the mix turns to compost, which is then used in the resort’s gardens.