Waste Management Tips For Hotel Owners and Guests

Guest article by Sam Reed, a content writer at PTAC4Less, an online retailer selling new and refurbished packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC units) since 2003 based in the USA.

A hotel guest generates about two pounds of waste per day, according to the International Tourism Partnership, so recycling is a big deal for hotels. Not only is it better for the environment, it is cost-effective. Pat Maher, a former hotel executive now serving as an environmental consultant to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said in an article in the New York Times that New York City hotels often have a $100,000 a year waste bill. 

Waste disposal sites or landfills, determine the price of disposal by weight. Waste hauling is a huge expense.  Paper is heavy. The more paper that gets recycled, the more money a hotel will save. The cost to recycle is less than the cost of disposal at a landfill. 

The Benefits Of Hotels Going Green

A survey of 1,300 travels conducted by TripAdvisor in 2012 showed that nearly two-thirds of travellers take environmental issues into account when making travel plans. Another study found that 68 percent of travellers prefer green hotels. 

When environmentally-friendly techniques and equipment are used, the hotel’s bottom line is improved. According to the Green Hotel Association, that includes installing things like water-saving equipment, fluorescent bulbs, motion sensors for public restrooms, low-flow toilets and recycling. The Green Hotel Association was set up decades ago to encourage hotels to go green and consider their environment when making their policies. Maher has been encouraging the hotel industry to go green for decades, and said that “hotels that have implemented the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Green Guidelines have reported reducing their energy and water costs overall by 5 percent and waste costs by 11 percent.”

The Role of Hotel Managers/Owners To Reduce Waste

If you’re not sure where to start, conduct a waste audit at your hotel. See where you generate the most waste and find ways to potentially reuse or recycle those items. Clean River Recycling Solutions says that Clean River CEO Bruce Bochan conducted a waste audit at a hotel and discovered hundreds of empty bottles of Cognac were being thrown away. He discovered that there was a market to resell these bottles. 

Reducing and reusing are the first steps to reducing waste. This includes reducing printed material, reducing disposable cups by providing ceramic mugs to staff, and donating old or unused linens and other items instead of throwing them away, according to the Northeast Recycling Council

Train hotel staff to separate the trash into paper, bottles and cans, and food waste. Separating food waste is important if the hotel plans to compost. For example, pizza boxes can’t usually be recycled because of the food and grease on the boxes. The food, though, can be composted or hauled away separately. Setting out bins where people can see them is a great way to get guests to recycle. 

The Role Of Guests To Reduce Waste

Hotel guests can reduce their own waste footprint by bringing reusable water bottles, requesting that linens only be changed on request, and cutting down on paper. 

One thing guests can do that makes a big impact is to reduce food waste. Nearly half of food served at hotels is wasted. In fact, food waste accounts for an astonishing 28 percent of total waste at the average hotel. That impacts more than just the hotel’s bottom line — it affects the environment. But it’s not just hotels. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations says that a third of the food in the world gets wasted by rotting during transport or being thrown out. 

Food makes up nearly 20 percent of the waste in landfills. As it rots, it produces methane, a gas that has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Because of that, the EPA has made it a priority to cut food waste in half by 2030. Reducing food waste will help the United States address climate change, as 20 percent of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills, according to the EPA

Guests can order smaller portions, bring home leftovers for the next day, and even carefully choose hotels that pride themselves on reducing food waste. If a hotel does not recycle, guests can plan ahead by bringing bags to sort their own recyclable trash. 
Millions of people go through hotels each year. Reducing waste and implementing green policies helps the bottom line and improve a hotel’s reputation, but also makes a significant positive impact on the environment. 

Learn more about PTAC4Less at https://ptac4less.com/ and their eco-friendly buy back option, along with a full range of parts and accessories.

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