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Many times, recycling success means offering the right incentives for managers and staff and taking advantage of ideas and resources that normally underutilized. In addition to these resources, there is usually community support and partnerships that can help with achieving waste reduction and recycling goals.

The hotel industry is seeing the benefits to the bottom line through recycling programs. Hotels that have used the enthusiasm of their staffs have seen significant rewards, from a hotel in San Diego, California which cut its costs by over 50% in only two months, to a 300-room hotel in Miami which diverts 150 tons of waste a month, reducing costs by 60%. Hotels are making recycling efforts successful, and they are making money by doing so. Here are some tips that can help you improve your operations recycling and waste reduction efforts.

Recycling Tips

  • Keep employees in the know about recycling procedures by releasing memos and periodically reviewing those procedures.
  • Monitor procedures on a regularly to ensure that proper routines have become custom and continue to educate as needed.
  • Carefully track the volume and types of recyclables that are being processed at your facility. Not only does this serve as a check and balance for the compensation you are to receive but it will also prompt you to sudden changes in data.
  • With each new hire, provide a recycling information packet that serves as a guide and orientation for your waste processing routines.
  • Once policies have been implemented, encourage feedback from your employees, especially those who are most involved in the waste processing operations, and adjust the routines accordingly.
  • Occasionally elect a few trusted employees to be the eyes and ears for management in identifying areas where participation is not taking place by departments or certain staff members. Then speak with those who are not participating to determine if they understand the importance of the programs and procedures.

Waste Reduction Tips

  • Perform an easy waste review. Walk through your hotel and take note of what type of waste is discarded in each area. This will help you determine which types of containers are needed. Typical waste management programs are likely to include some of the following:
    1. Administrative: High Quality Paper, Mixed Paper, Cardboard, bottles, cans and printer toner cartridges.
    2. Food service areas: Cans, plastic containers, glass, cardboard, cans and other metals.
    3. Public areas: Magazines, newspaper, bottles and cans.
  • Based on the results of the waste review, set up appropriate recycling programs in these areas.
  • Make sure all receptacles and bins are well marked for guests and staff to use. For public areas, it is best to choose receptacles and bins that have specialized openings, such as a hole for bottles and cans or a slot for newspapers. Place these bins in areas that are convenient for recycling – typically on each floor near exits and elevators.
  • Put great emphasis on areas where it is vital to separate specific types of waste from each other, such as yard waste and food waste from other waste. Food waste can be composted.

Hotels can overcome obstacles to recycling and waste management as long as they remember to implement the following keys:

  1. Employee education;
  2. Management commitment to the recycling program;
  3. Hands-on monitoring of programs set in place;
  4. User-friendly systems such as using clearly labeled containers and visually unique bins for collecting recyclables; and
  5. Designate sorting recyclables part of every hotel employee’s job description.

The Best Western MarketPlace is designed to help your operations run as smoothly as possible. In order to do this, we possess the necessary qualities and standards to keep you informed in all aspects of your industry. To learn more about The Best Western MarketPlace and what we can do for your hotel, download the Enrollment Guide.