The hospitality industry has immense scope of embracing sustainability and going green. Waste management is a critical aspect and has a huge impact on any hotel’s environmental as well as financial bottom line. Irrelevant of your hotel size, effective waste management can help you optimize operations, save resources, cut down expenses and enhance your brand value, which can attract more customers. There are numerous areas within which you can work to improve your waste management. Listed here are four key areas which are solid opportunities for you to make substantial positive impact on the way your hotel handles waste.
- A well-maintained inventory can save you a lot trouble, time and resources. This includes reducing the amount of food waste your hotel produces. Avoid overstocking. Purchase only the ingredients which you need and don’t be tempted to buy them in bulk only because you are getting a good deal. The excess food will only add to the food waste generated if you buy more than you need.
- Food spoilage is a major contributor towards food waste. Incorporate a strict stock management and rotation system so that the stored food doesn’t spoil or expire before it can be used. Check the use-by dates of all products daily.
- A shocking percentage of food waste which can be composted goes into landfill. Avoid this by investing in a compactor container. A roll off self-contained compactor for instance is ideal for hotels as it is designed for places which have a space constraint, has leak-proof units, requires minimal maintenance and is durable. It can reduce volumes of wet waste without jamming or leaking. It can be firmly installed on site for convenient operation.
- Right from food preparation to storing food correctly to keeping the premises clean—employees handling food or food waste should be trained appropriately. This can help your hotel cut back a substantial amount of food waste.
- Replace plastic water bottles with large water dispensers or bottles which can be reused.
- Get rid of tea and coffee sachets with loose products in sealed reusable containers.
- Instead of plastic-wrapped fruit baskets and treats, prefer a glass bell jar to store fruit bowl, biscuits, chocolates or other treats.
- Go for local crafts in green bags instead of excessively plastic-wrapped standardized gifts.
- Frame or laminate important notices and prefer greeting in person on arrival rather than leaving letters in room or hanging paper notices.
- Put jute slippers or prefer locally sourced and hand-crafted flip-flops made from upcycled materials.
- Guests can be asked to reuse towels and linens to save water.
- Dining Areas and Bar
- Measure the quantity of waste which is being discarded every week. You can categorize it into preparation, spoilage and plate waste. Once you have the quantity, aim to reduce that amount.
- Offer a choice of portion sizes on the menu. Add unused food to the creative menu items. This can help eliminate food waste.
- Ask your staff in these areas to review the waste goals so that necessary action can be taken when they are not achieved. Also, celebrate the achievement of goals as this will encourage the employees to perform better.
- Common Areas
- The common areas which include lobbies, exercise areas, pools, business centers, etc. are also a major source of waste. You can start from outside while working your way in to the hotel.
- The pool area is critical as poor waste management can make it a breeding ground for multiple issues. Monitor the sources of waste generation in and around the pool so that you can arm the staff better with ways to handle it appropriately. Once the sources are identified, you can also implement practices which can reduce the amount of waste generated.
- In the exercise area, keep a water fountain instead of plastic water bottles. You can also keep cleaning cloth napkins instead of paper towels.
- For lobbies, find ways to replace paper with digital technology to reduce paper waste. Make maximum use of natural light to reduce consumption of electricity.
Remember, efficient waste management starts with regular waste audits. These audits can help you optimize your efforts for better results. You can also hire a waste management partner to review your process of handling waste. Professional help can make a huge difference and help your hotel reduce the amount of waste produced faster with minimal resources.
About the Author
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog at Compactor Management Company.