Case Study: Ranch Caravan Park - Driving home the recycling message to holiday caravan fans

There are more than a million caravans in the UK and, as we head into summer, plenty of holidaymakers will be dusting down their home on four wheels and heading to the open road.

While caravanners are applauded for bringing millions of pounds into local economies as they buy gifts, local food and enjoy the visitor attractions, one topic which is less high profile is that of waste and recycling.

At Ranch Caravan Park in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, just a stone’s throw from the Cotswolds, the family-owned and run business works closely with Grundon Waste Management to maximise recycling and reduce waste to landfill as much as possible.

Open every year from March to November, this spacious Park accommodates holiday homes, touring caravans, motorhomes and trailer tents, and includes a health and fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool, on-site shop and clubhouse with licensed bar and restaurant.

Caring about the environment is important for the team behind the Park and managing director, Andy Attridge, says Grundon’s proactive approach has made a big difference to how waste is handled.

The two companies started working together in 2014, and Andy says: “Due to the seasonal nature of our business we needed the greater flexibility which Grundon are able to provide, together with the ability to co-ordinate the collection of different types of waste for us.

“Previously we had to deal with different companies for different types of waste. Grundon has given us separate collections for glass, which we have plenty of because of our on-site bar and restaurant; cardboard, as caravanners can often buy large items such as patio sets with plenty of packaging; plastics for drink bottles and milk bottles; and of course our general waste still needs to be collected.

“From a management point of view it is so much easier to have all the different waste streams under one contract, and it’s good to see reporting statistics so we understand how we’re doing and know what we need to aim for in terms of reducing general waste and increasing recycling.”

Andy views recycling and waste management as part of being a responsible citizen and says while the Ranch team clearly can’t control holidaymakers’ attitudes towards waste, the goal is to make it as easy as possible by providing plenty of facilities.

Around the Park are a series of bin stations with 1100 litre waste bins for mixed recycling or general waste, as well as 240 litre glass bins. Clear signage highlights Ranch’s commitment to environmental management as well as explaining the do’s and don’ts of recycling.

“We are seeing a greater leaning towards more customers wanting to recycle, of course we are dependent on individual attitudes in terms of encouraging them to segregate certain items, but as they are geared up to it more at home, they are now doing it almost automatically,” he said.

The Park is strongly committed to good environmental management and has earned a Gold Award in the David Bellamy Conservation Scheme, presented to holiday parks for the work they have carried out to protect and enhance Britain’s natural environment.

Andy says the team works hard to blend in with the local landscape and be seen as part of the community, with initiatives such as assisting with the local children’s cycling club and allowing youngsters to ride their bikes on the park’s quieter roads.

Overall, waste statistics from Grundon show that during its nine month opening period in 2014, Ranch Caravan Park’s waste management policy achieved an average recycling rate of nearly 30%, saving 2,969kg of CO2, which is the equivalent of 153 trees.

Daniel Peacey, business development manager at Grundon who looks after the Park, says the team has done a great job in raising awareness of the need to recycle away from home.

“Encouraging people to think about recycling when they are on holiday is never going to be easy,” he said. “It’s all about making it simple and easy to do and reminding people of the need to be good citizens. We’re delighted to see the improvements that Ranch is achieving and are keen to drive the same message out to other holiday homes and caravan parks that recycling doesn’t stop as you close your front door to go on holiday.”

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