Recycling offers a range of benefits to hotel operators – cutting costs of materials and resources, as well as waste disposal costs, the physical space taken up by waste materials, and the perception of eco-conscious guests.
But apart from the obvious, like recycling old paperwork and plastic or metal from your kitchen, what can you do to maximise the amount you recover?
The answers include reducing your waste in the first place, as well as recycling it – here are five of the best tips you might not have heard in regards to hotel recycling.
Put your trust in guests for hotel recycling
OK, we’re not suggesting you 100% trust your guests to separate out their own rubbish into recyclable waste, but even putting a separate bin in each room for ‘recyclable waste’ and ‘general waste’ can give you a headstart on sorting it all out.
If you normally sort through general waste later to pull out anything recyclable, it makes good sense to focus more on separating it at the moment it is discarded – and that includes in guests’ rooms.
Throw in the towel
Linen – from the towels in your bathrooms to the sheets on your beds – is a huge element in any hotel’s daily operations, and it’s a fact of life that you always have some sheets and towels reaching the end of their usable life.
Make sure you get the best use out of these – you might be able to use them for longer behind the scenes, for example in staff restrooms or as general purpose rags and cleaning cloths.
Even if not, look into ways to recycle them, as old fibres can find a second life as insulating material and soft stuffing for all kinds of upholstery and plush toys.
It can be tempting to offer the largest portions you can, but for every guest who wants their plate piled high, there’s another who will be alarmed at the occurrence of food waste.
Manage your portion sizes more effectively, and offer side dishes and upgrades for people with larger appetites – as well as a doggy bag so leftovers don’t go into your kitchen waste.
Cutting down on food waste is a crucial issue in its own right and links in not just with environmental issues, but with wider ethics too.
Do not disturb
Again, it’s not just the communal areas and back of house where you can make savings – even if you spend very little time getting your bedrooms ready between guests.
When a room is booked over several days, pay attention to Do Not Disturb signs – your guests will appreciate their privacy, and you’ll use less cleaning materials, complimentary toiletries and so on, as well as cutting down on the amount of water you use if you don’t need to wash their towels every day.
Let it rain
Hotels are typically quite large premises and – especially in the UK – that can mean a lot of rain falls on your property, (there’s also some pretty cool solar panels that now produce energy when it rains).
Don’t let this go to waste when you can catch the run-off from your roof and store it in water butts for later; it’s one of the most direct ways to reuse a valuable resource, it helps to reduce the risk of flooding by preventing it running off overground, and it gives you a free source of water for your flowerbeds and shrubberies once the sun comes out again.