Two New Zealand ski areas won’t offer waste bins for rubbish that can’t be recycled when they open for winter 20-21 in a few weeks’ time.

Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone Ski Area this ski season, which are under joint ownership, say that having “be no public-facing landfill bins” at either resort is just one of several significant changes being made across their operation.

“We’ve made a lot of small changes over the years, like removing single use coffee cups and PET plastic bottles from our food and beverage outlets, and we’ve been proud to be an industry leader in this space,” says Cardrona and Treble Cone General Manager, Bridget Legnavsky. “But now it is time to make big changes, and we need everyone to come on this journey with us.”

The ski areas identified two areas requiring significant change from a sustainability perspective – waste and transport.

This winter neither mountain will sell any items in their food and beverage outlets that have packaging that needs to go to landfill. Rubbish bins will be replaced by recycling and compost stations, with signage explaining the changes and staff members on hand to help visitors sort through their waste.

“If you need to bring single use packaging, you will need to take that off the mountain with you – but that doesn’t really help,” says Legnavsky. “We’re asking everyone to think really deeply about what they buy in the first place, the packaging it comes in, and the packaging you choose to bring up our mountains.”

The resorts are using this as an opportunity to lead other businesses on a sustainability path, including their suppliers.

“We’ve been so happy with how open our suppliers have been with this change for 2021,” says Legnavsky. “As an example, Cookie Time have developed a compostable cookie bag so they can continue to be sold on our mountains this winter.”

To address transport emissions, both Cardrona and Treble Cone have made their access road shuttles (from the bottom of each mountain) free of charge for the winter season.

The resorts are also encouraging carpooling by reserving the parking spaces closest to each mountain’s Base facilities for vehicles with three occupants or more until the carparks are filled. Designated hitch-hiking spots will be set up at both mountains, and carpooling app usage encouraged.

Legnavsky says the changes have been sparked by guest and staff feedback over the last couple of years.

“We love that our guests keep challenging us to do and be better, and we want to keep encouraging that feedback. So to all our people we say – please keep asking us questions, and keep challenging us to improve on this sustainability journey. These mountains are for all of us to share and for future generations to enjoy – imagine what we can all do together when we try?”

Cardrona Alpine Resort opens for the winter season on June 12, with Treble Cone following on June 25.