Recycling at the lodge

Zero Waste - Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

At the Black Sheep Inn, we reduce environmental impact by buying in bulk and avoiding non-recyclable packaging.  We reuse paper, cardboard, glass bottles, large plastic containers, kitchen scraps, water and human waste onsite.  Trash is separated into 3 receptacles in all rooms. 

We produce less than one ounce of non-recyclable trash daily per person!  This amounts to ZERO waste.  Waste that cannot be reused or recycled onsite is brought to a community recycling center that the Black Sheep Inn built and sponsored in Chugchilán.  This initiative won the 2006 Ecolodge Award.

Simple Initiatives

We offer packed lunches in unbleached brown paper.  We do not sell bottled water, but instead let guests fill their bottles with ozone purified water for free.  On hikes, guides and guests are encouraged to take nothing with them, nor leave anything behind.

We recycle wine and liquor bottles by building bottle walls.  The sauna, bunkhouse shower, and showers in the private bathrooms are examples of this eco-architecture.  The hardest part when building a bottle wall is all the drinking that you have to do first!

Large plastic containers are re-used as planters or to store milk and water.  Newspaper makes good mulch for the garden as well as an alternative non-toxic mirror and window cleaner and woodstove starter.  Food scraps are composted or fed to animals: chickens, guinea pigs, pigs, dogs etc.  Recycling that is not done directly on site is done in through the local recycling center that the Black Sheep Inn established in Chugchilán.  Recycled products available in Ecuador include plastic buckets and barrels, water hoses, toilet paper, and more.

Recycling is a community-wide issue

The local Recycling Centre has been an initiative of the Black Sheep Inn’s since Andres (co-owner of the Black Sheep Inn) was elected to be ‘King of Garbage’ in Chugchilán in 2006. 

Trash used to be swept weekly in the canyon in front of the local school.  By working cooperatively with public officials Andres helped purchase a small property to use as a separation facility, tree nursery and a mini landfill.  Now trash is separated into cardboard, hard plastic, soft plastic, paper, metal and organic.  Recyclables are sold and profits go directly to the people who sort the waste.  Organic waste has been composted and used to fertilize a public central park in the village.