Hilton Pattaya, Nurn Tang Rotfai Community win WWF Thailand Eco Community Challenge

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The Hilton Pattaya and the city’s Baan Nurn Tang Rotfai Community took first place in the World Wildlife Fund Thailand’s first-ever neighborhood-level environmental campaign, the Eco Community Challenge.

City Councilman Nakhon Phonlookin and Hilton General Manager Rudolf Troestler congratulated residents of the low-income Pattaya Community on its achievement May 11 before everyone moved to the beachfront hotel for the awards presentation.

Baan Nurn Tang Rotfai Community with their fertilizers created from food waste.

WWF Thailand and the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion worked with eight Hilton Worldwide hotels in Thailand on the Eco Community Challenge, a program that involved seven local communities across the kingdom in a competition to create a healthier environment through better waste management.

Finishing behind the Pattaya entrants were the Suvarnabhumi Mosque Community in Samut Prakan with the Millennium Hilton Bangkok, and the Khlong Toei Nai 1 Community in Bangkok with the Hilton Sukhumvit and DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit.

The honorable mention prize went to the Baan Saiyuan Community and Hilton Arcadia Resort and Spa in Phuket.

Rudolf Troestler, general manager at Hilton Pattaya, and Sylvia Low, Regional HR manager at Hilton Hotels recently visited the Baan Nurn Tang Rotfai Community to see their fertilizer project.

“As a global company operating in more than 100 countries and regions, we are acutely aware of the effect that the hospitality industry has on the health of this planet, and are just as mindful of the potential we hold to make a real difference for future generations of our guests, team members and communities,” said Sylvia Low, senior manager for corporate responsibility in Hilton’s Asia-Pacific division.

“Through the Eco Community Challenge, we were privileged to partner our local communities and WWF Thailand to extend our commitment to preserving the environment, and positively impact places where we live, work and travel.”

Sylvia Low, Regional HR manager at Hilton Hotels, and Yaowaluk Thiarachow, director of WWF Thailand give away prizes to the winners of the Eco Community Challenge.

Manoon Wongsena, president of the Baan Nurn Tang Rotfai Community, said residents were proud to be part of the Eco Community Challenge and used food waste to create fertilizer to use for their plants and crops.

“In the past three years, WWF had launched similar waste-management programs, but they were all at the provincial level. So this time around, we realized the importance of having local communities take part as it not only helps create healthier environments locally, but lightens the workload of the provincial government as well,” said Yaowaluk Thiarachow, country director of WWF Thailand.

Since the launch of the challenge in 2014, the initiative reduced a total of 16 tons of solid waste, saving an equivalent of 6,380 liters of fuel consumption.

The World Bank has forecast that by 2025 up to 2.2 billion tons of waste will be produced each year, or an equivalent of 1.4kg per person each day.

As of July 2015, an estimated 8,100 people participated in the Eco Community Challenge, resulting in a reduction of more than 14 tons of carbon emissions through the reduction, reuse and recycling.

“Waste management is considered as one of the country’s top priorities and the government has already initiated four waste-management measures aimed to deal with such issue,” said Worakorn Taetamchai, a technical officer with the DEQP.

The department provided technical and academic assistance to the project during its early stages, with personnel deployment to participating local communities to educate the local people and provide them with needed information regarding waste management, including waste segregation, recycling as well as waste reduction before reaching landfills for solid waste.