By Erich Lawson

Hotels are chief consumers of resources, and they immensely contribute to the generation of waste. In the era of Green Economy and green strategies recycling would benefit not only the environment but also the industry. It is essential for a hotel industry to have an effective waste management system which focuses on reducing waste, reusing useful materials and recycling them. Commercial processes tend to generate a lot of waste and require regular maintenance and expensive waste disposal.

Importance of Waste Management in Hotels

Waste management in hotels is important as it is getting increasingly difficult to dispose of waste. Moreover, it makes good sense to the business. When supplies are judiciously used it saves a lot of money on raw materials. You can generate additional income by selling old resources and by reusing and recycling useful materials. Therefore, you end up decreasing the cost of waste disposal as the amount of waste produced is decreased.

It can start with:

  • Using refillable dispensers for soaps, shampoos, and conditioners
  • Using washable cloth products and dishware instead of disposable ones
  • Using water filters instead of plastic bottles
  • Reducing and reusing supplies packaging materials
  • Reducing the number of paper products
  • Switching to LED lights

4 Steps of Effective Waste Management in Hotels

1. Characterization and Quantification of Waste in the Hotel Industry – It is important to categorize the types and quantity of waste produced by every department of the hotel industry so that it is managed properly. For example, office waste (like papers, documents, brochures), household waste (jars, bottles, cardboard), organic waste (vegetable and fruit peels, flowers) can be segregated in color-coded bins for easy and hassle-free waste management.

2. Understand Waste Hierarchy – This concept was presented by Waste on Line (2006) provides options to manage waste by prevention, minimization, reuse, recycle, recovery and disposal which prevents a lot of waste from going to the waste stream. Recovery is the most important part of the process because some value of the material is retrieved through recycling. The last step is disposal which generally involves landfill and incineration of waste.

3. Data Analysis – Hotel industry generates a lot of waste and most of the time it is sent to the landfills without being treated properly. The first step in managing the data analysis of waste is to perform waste audit. Waste auditing is identifying the process of productivity from waste management practices in hotels. With the help of trash compactors or industrial balers wastes can the volume of waste can be immensely reduced which makes it easier to handle and cost of waste disposal is reduced. Right from hospitals to hotel chains compactors of different sizes, shapes and convenience will prove to be perfect as a waste disposal tool. The organic waste in the hotel can be reduced with the help of a food composter. Composting is a biological process which needs certain temperature moisture, ventilation and carbon and nitrogen ratio. Compost is a very useful soil conditioner and fertile manure.

4. Model and framework development – A framework is developed with special focus on which can save cost on local vendors and labour cost for handling waste. It is classified into two:

  • Profitability from Recyclable and Compostable Waste – This is the method of generating profit from the business events in a firm. The tool to increase the total profit by any methodical plan.
  • Sustainability from Waste Management – Everything you need to survive is sustainability. When the social, economic and environmental aspects are taken care of and has all the required conditions to sustain from managing waste, any framework can survive if these three aspects are within.

Managing waste in hotels is one of the major issues and ends up not being properly treated. It is mandatory for hotel industries to develop a complete framework which helps in optimizing each waste material in the industry and also reduce environmental impact.