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greening your lodging - waste management

Money Saving Tips - Waste Management
Reprinted with permission from

  • Install hand dryers in public restrooms to minimize paper consumption.

  • Leave your grass clippings on the lawn.

  • Encourage guests to take used soap bars home. Tons of used soap bars are discarded by hotels around the world every day.

  • Allow the toilet roll to be completely used prior to replacing it. Or, use half-used rolls in staff toilets. Purchase toilet paper rolls that are “coreless.”

  • Use dispensers for amenities instead of single-use disposable bottles.

  • Eliminate plastic or paper wrapping on drinking glasses in guestrooms.

  • Use worn towels and linens as cleaning rags.

  • Buy recycled paper goods with a high percentage of post-consumer content for use in guestrooms, kitchen, housekeeping and other areas of the hotel. If possible, purchase goods that are easily biodegradable.

  • Implement a recycling program for cans, bottles, cooking oil, phone books, plastic containers, computers, printer/toner cartridges, cardboard, newspaper, plastic and other items. Place recycling containers throughout the hotel, including the guestrooms. Purchase computers from companies such as Dell that take computers back for recycling.

  • Compost food scraps and coffee grounds. Start a worm farm to consume the waste.

  • Educate staff and reward them for recycling accomplishments. Educate guests as well.

  • In the office, use both sides of paper when making copies. • Make discarded paper into message pads.

  • Install washable furnace and air-conditioner filters.

  • Encourage your suppliers to use less waste. Buy only from those that do so.

  • Donate used items such as sheets and furniture to the local community. Also donate leftover food to charities.

  • Refinish furniture.

  • Provide meeting attendees with a place to drop off their name badges after an event. Reuse the badge holders.

  • Provide water at meetings to guests in pitchers, not plastic bottles.

  • Monitor waste volume each month to track progress.

  • Reuse robes as cleaning towels.

  • Encourage vendors to offer products with minimal packaging.

  • Purchase food in bulk to reduce packaging waste.

  • Assign one person to call the trash collector for special pickups.

  • Monitor trash in dumpsters to make sure recyclables are not being sent to the landfill.

  • Clearly label recycling containers so that it is understood what can or cannot be placed in them.

  • Share newspaper and magazine subscriptions among several people. Purchase newspapers based on occupancy. Provide newspapers on request only.

  • Reuse dry cleaning hangers.

  • Purchase condiments in bulk.

  • Use cloth napkins, placement and tablecloths.

  • Avoid the use of Styrofoam or paper cups. Use ceramic mugs instead.

  • Use reusable plates, glasses and tableware in the restaurant and the employee cafeteria.

  • Laminate restaurant menus so that they will last longer.

  • Use reusable containers for storing food instead of plastic wrap.

  • Use reusable coasters instead of napkins in the restaurant and bar.

  • If individual amenities are used, be sure the plastic is recycled.

  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries where possible.

  • Ask customers if they want a straw, instead of automatically giving them one.

  • Offer infrequently used guestroom amenities such as sewing kits by request only.

  • Eliminate fried foods where possible to minimize the amount of grease that needs to be sent to a landfill. What grease your food and beverage operation does produce can be converted to biodiesel fuel.

  • Crush cans and bottles.

  • Properly dispose of fluorescents. They contain a small amount of mercury. Several companies offer safe return container programs.

  • Purchase carpet that is recyclable and floor coverings that have been made from recycled materials.

  • Recycle hangers by returning them to the dry cleaner.

  • When possible, reuse material from demolished buildings in new construction--bricks and mortar, for example, can be recycled.

  • Use reusable LED candles to reduce candle waste.

  • When possible, reuse material from demolished buildings in new construction--bricks and mortar, for example, can be recycled.

  • Compact the trash that you send to a recycler or landfill.

  • Use kitchen disposers to reduce food waste volume.

  • Participate in the EPA's WasteWise program.

Reprinted with permission from

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