Home Publisher's Point of View Hilton Unlocks Secret to Successful Mattress Recycling Business Model

Hilton Unlocks Secret to Successful Mattress Recycling Business Model


It has got to be the most significant commitment to mattress and box springs recycling that our industry has ever seen. I am referring to Hilton Worldwide’s recent commitment and goal to recycle 85 percent of the mattresses and box springs that exit its owned, managed and franchised properties. I spoke with Randy Gaines, vice president, engineering operations for the Americas at Hilton Worldwide, to get more details about the program.

Randy told me that as new Serta mattresses and box springs are installed as part of a hotel renovation or scheduled replacement, the old mattresses and box springs will be taken away by DH Hospitality, a company that provides recycling, installation, liquidation, transportation and warehousing services. Why the partnership with Serta? About 90 percent of the mattresses and box springs purchased for Hilton properties are from Serta; the company is a preferred mattress supplier for Hilton’s 10 brands.

Approximately 50,000 mattresses were purchased for Hilton hotels in the last two years. In the past, mattresses and box springs were either sent to a landfill or liquidated. In some areas, mattress disposal fees run as much as $50 per mattress. Gaines says that the agreement with DH Hospitality will bring mattress/box spring “disposal” costs down to just $24 per set ($12 per mattress/$12 per box springs). Not every mattress will be recycled as some just get too stained.

New Life for Old Mattresses, Box Springs

Those mattresses and box springs taken away by DH Hospitality will be recycled into other products including: tools, automobiles, construction materials (from steel springs); tempered flooring, particle board shelving and a variety of pressed wood products (from wood); oil filters, mats and stuffing (from cotton fibers); and carpet padding (from quilt scrap). DH Hospitality will ensure that all components of the mattress and box springs are being recycled, not resold or re-covered, by requiring recycling centers to provide a certificate of recycling.

The mattress and recycling program will help Hilton further exceed its waste reduction goal of 20 percent by 2014 (baseline year 2008).

Carrying out a massive program like this cannot be done without the right partner—a company that specializes in logistics, transportation and liquidation.

“DH Hospitality is the right partner,” Gaines says. “You have to find the right partner.”

It is great to see a company like Hilton make this type of waste reduction commitment and figure out a business model that works. Isn’t it time for your company to do the same?

Got comments? Send them to editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

GLN Adds Telkonet Case Study to Website

Green Lodging News has just added a new case study to its website. The case study focuses on the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers and its installation of motion sensing thermostats in every single one of the 1,214 rooms of the hotel. The installation was done as part of the Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI)—a component of Retrofit Chicago that aims to dramatically reduce the energy needs of Chicago’s commercial buildings. A team of roughly 10 workers were employed for nearly a month, alongside the building engineers and the team from Telkonet. The Sheraton was eligible for a rebate offered through the “ComEd Smart Ideas for your Business” program, which contributes to the short payback for the capital investment. This program is part of a statewide policy initiative to make the state more efficient. The system will pay for itself in 2.5 years, after which time the $150,000 savings can be used as the owners see fit. To read the complete case study, click here.

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