City of Dreams Manila is taking bold steps toward its commitment to undertake long-term sustainable programs by establishing eco-efficient operations on property, such as vermicomposting and plant propagation at its own herb garden and greenhouse nursery. City of Dreams Manila started the greenhouse nursery and the ornamental plant propagation in early 2016, and set up the vermicomposting facility in the first quarter of 2017.
The practice of vermicomposting enables City of Dreams Manila to be self-sufficient in providing organic compost to the ornamental plants used in the resort’s landscape and in the propagation of the existing plants. Vermicomposting within the property also helps in the resort’s waste management by drastically lessening the organic wastage from vegetable trimmings, fruit peelings, egg shell remains and used coffee grounds, which are collected and used to feed the worms at the vermicomposting chambers.
With both the vermicomposting practice and the ornamental plant propagation within the property, City of Dreams Manila is able to considerably reduce expenses on fertilizers and ornamental plants. This sustainable undertaking is able to garner a total of Php 573, 374.28 monthly savings on the integrated luxury resort’s expenses on fertilizers and indoor plant rental and maintenance for the overall landscape features of the property, says Paul Bruce, the property’s Director of Engineering.
“We are not only known in the business of providing unique experiences within the luxury integrated resort; as we are also making a mark as a socially and environmentally-responsible business. Together with the proactive participation and spirit of volunteerism of our employees, we are taking bold and forward-looking initiatives to be agents of change for the people within our organization, the communities we partner with, and for the environment as a whole,” Kevin Benning, City of Dreams Manila Chief Operating Officer, said.
Agriculturist and City of Dreams Manila’s Landscape Manager Cirilo Alerta who initiated vermicomposting on property, says that on an everyday basis, about 54 kilos of used coffee grounds, 20 kilos of fruit and vegetable peelings, and 2.5 kilos of egg shell remains are being gathered from the different kitchens and outlets of the property, and are then brought to the vermicomposting area located at the rooftop of the parking building. To date, City of Dreams Manila’s vermicomposting area is composed of six chambers with a total of 9 cubic meters of capacity that are able to produce about 346 kilos of vermicast and about 433 liters of vermitea a month.
Additional four vermicomposting chambers with 12 cubic meters of capacity are in the pipeline. This expansion aims to increase the production of vermicast and vermitea, which City of Dreams Manila targets to share with local farmers as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.
Vermicomposting involves the use of worms in converting organic wastes to produce a potent vermicast, which then can be used as compost, and is far more superior to chemically manufactured fertilizers as it provides more nutrients to the plants, and is more potent compared to normal garden soil. Meanwhile, vermitea, another by-product of vermicomposting, is also being used as liquid fertilizers for the different plants across the property.
In a bid to be self-sustaining as well as promote gardening amid a busy urban city, City of Dreams Manila started its own herb garden. Also located at the parking building’s rooftop, the garden is set to grow herbs such as spearmint, peppermint, coriander, sawtooth herbs, betel leaf, kaffir lime, Thai basil, holy basil, Vietnamese mint, and curry tree; which when harvested, can support the properties’ kitchen supply needs. Also in the pipeline is the growing of plants through hydroponics, which when adapted, is seen to further reinforce this self-sustaining initiative.
Other sustainable initiatives within the property are: the implementation of EcoBins for the proper waste segregation of food waste, plastic, paper, tin cans, bottles, and coffee grounds; the use of biodegradable and compostable utensils; and minimization, if not removal, of the use of plastic straws.
Further creating positive impact on nearby communities, City of Dreams Manila regularly initiates coastal clean-up drives along Manila bay as well as mangrove and tree planting activities in Laguna and Cavite as part of its CSR programs.
The integrated luxury resort’s CSR undertakings consist of employee volunteerism in year-round outreach programs in which more than 4, 000 employees have participated to date. The volunteers have been involved in caring for the needs of orphans, street children, and the elderly; educational sessions for children; and hospital visits to indigent patients. The resort is embarking on soap recycling, among other sustainable initiatives and continues with blood-letting activities for Philippine Red Cross, which has recognized City of Dreams with a Blood Services Platinum Award for yielding 963 blood units in just five years of partnership.