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February 21, 2019

A Bug’s Life Made Easier

A hotel in California’s Bay Area is getting a lot of buzz. That’s because this particular luxury resort happens to be for insects – and the lucky residents have some creative Waste Management employees to thank for the new digs.

Located in San Jose, Calif., the hotel’s construction all began when members of WM’s Guadalupe Recycling and Disposal Facility’s Operations and Environmental Protection teams participated in a webinar hosted by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), during which they learned about the art of building bug hotels.

From there, the team decided to build a bug hotel for their resident insects. District Operations Manager Neil Wise, Technical Manager Becky Azevedo, and the rest of the crew got to work planning & and building the bug hotel out of recycled materials.

Now, insects that play vital roles in the environment − like pollinators − have a new place to check in.

Construction of the unique hotel was completed just in time for National Pollinator Week. The team took care to ensure each operation at the landfill would be represented:

  • The maintenance shop is represented by use of heavy equipment, automotive supplies and a retired pair of steel-toed safety boots
  • The administration office is represented by “mini-green” WM carts that typically serve as pencil holders
  • The construction & demolition and green waste recycling areas of the facility are represented by tree stumps, wood, bamboo and an old flower pot
  • The landfill is represented by roofing tiles, bricks, a retired metal valve, and wood pieces
  • The areas surrounding the facility are represented by pine cones and oak tree seeds

In the first-ever international design and build contest for bug hotels, the WHC received more than 40 entries from as far away as Uzbekistan. The entries were split into three categories – Small to Medium, Large, and Extra-Large – and were judged on creativity and ingenuity.

The efforts of the Waste Management team paid off with wins in two categories: First Place: Large Sized Bug Hotels and Best Use of Found/Recycled Materials. With its creation, the hotel is likely to be a popular destination for insects for years to come.

Check out more of the winners at the Wildlife Habitat Council website.