Adapting Your Hotel’s Waste Management Practices for the Summer Rush

Summer is upon us, and with 2 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. planning to take a vacation this season (Bankrate 2023), hotels and hospitality organizations are bracing for a bigger summer rush than the last few years. As the temperatures soar and vacationers come calling, travel destinations transform into buzzing hives of activity. With rooms booked to capacity, events scheduled back-to-back, and restaurants bustling with patrons, this is the season that keeps revenue ticking.

But along with the seasonal boom and higher customer traffic comes a big surge in waste generation. More guests equals more consumption, and in turn, more waste. Whether it’s leftover food, discarded packaging, or single-use amenities, the waste and recycling receptacles at your properties tend to fill up a lot faster during these bustling months.

That’s where efficient waste management and recycling comes into the picture. It’s no longer just about keeping the premises clean; in today’s environmentally conscious world, sustainable waste management has become an integral part of the reputation and overall success of hotels and hospitality organizations.

From minimizing your environmental impact to improving operational efficiency and customer perception, adapting your waste management practices for the summer rush is vital. As you gear up for the busy season ahead, let’s delve into ways to improve your waste management strategies to handle the extra waste load effectively and responsibly.

The Challenge of Waste Management During the Summer Rush

During the summer months, hotels and other travel accommodations face a substantial surge in waste generation, which, if not handled adeptly, can lead to both environmental and financial setbacks.

Some of the most common types of waste hotels must manage include:

  • Food waste from kitchens and dining areas
  • Packaging waste from supplies and guest amenities
  • Chemical waste from cleaning supplies

Each of these types requires unique waste management and recycling strategies. For instance, food waste, also known as organic waste, could be composted, while packaging needs appropriate recycling, and chemical waste requires special disposal procedures to prevent harmful environmental impacts.

Managing these diverse waste types becomes especially challenging during peak season with higher levels of waste generation. With an estimated 40% of food waste being generated from customer-facing businesses like hotels and restaurants, running a hotel dining service at full capacity during the summer can quickly lead to an overwhelming level of waste output that current waste management practices can’t handle.

The repercussions of poor waste management are many:

  • Environmentally, excessive waste contributes to landfills, pollution, and increased carbon emissions. 
  • Financially, careless disposal can lead to hefty fines for non-compliance with waste management regulations, not to mention the potential cost savings lost through inefficient resource use. 

In a world where consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious, a hotel’s reputation can take a significant hit if it’s perceived to be neglectful of sustainable practices. So, what can you do to manage your property’s waste responsibly? We have some tips for you.

Best Practices for Hotel Waste Management During the Summer Months

Effective waste management requires foresight, planning, and preparation. It all starts with anticipating the increase in waste generation and having an action plan to handle it responsibly. Follow these four steps to make sure you’re ready for peak season:

  1. Reduce waste output at the source. Consider adopting sustainable practices like switching from single-use plastics such as drinking cups to reusable items like glass water bottles in rooms or cloth laundry bags. The kitchen could also get involved by reducing portion sizes to minimize food waste, using recycled to-go containers, and sourcing supplies with less packaging.

  2. Train your staff. Make sure to invest time in training your employees on new waste management procedures to help foster awareness about the importance of their role in this initiative. After all, it’s often the housekeeping, kitchen, and maintenance staff who are on the front lines of implementing waste management practices, so gaining their buy-in is critical to your initiative’s success.

  3. Sort waste effectively. Not all waste is created equal, and responsible waste management is only effective when discarded items are sorted correctly. When possible, provide separate receptacles for food waste, recyclable materials like paper and glass, and landfill waste.
  • Organics: Food waste can be composted or sent to an organics recycling facility for processing. 
  • Recyclables: Cardboard, paper, glass, and aluminum can be recycled.
  • Landfill waste: Non-recyclable, inorganic materials to be sent to the landfill.
  • Cleaning supplies: Some waste like cleaning chemicals require special disposal. Make sure to have a process in place for responsible collection and disposal of these used cleaning supplies. 

Educate your team on how to separate waste correctly and provide the necessary bins and equipment to facilitate this process – both for your staff and your guests.

  1. Work with professional recycling services. Sustainable recycling vendors like CheckSammy can help support your waste management initiatives and even create a custom recycling program for you. With our ability to handle large volumes of waste, provide guidance on waste segregation, and ensure the disposal complies with environmental regulations, CheckSammy takes the burden off your team while offering insights and guidance on how to further improve your sustainability initiatives.

Embracing these best practices will not only help manage the increased waste during the summer rush but will also contribute to more sustainable and efficient hotel operations all year round.

Get the Sustainability Support You Need for the Summer Rush

Adapting your hotel’s waste management and recycling practices for the summer rush isn’t just an operational need, but also an environmental and ethical responsibility. With effective waste management, you can minimize your organization’s environmental footprint, comply with regulations, improve your ESG reporting, and meet the growing demand for environmentally conscious services from your patrons.

If you need help creating a sustainable, scalable waste management and recycling program for your hotel or property, CheckSammy can help. With our next-generation technology, nationwide fleet, and verifiable recycling data, we’ll help you create and execute an implementable strategy that will support your needs for this summer and well beyond. Contact us today to learn more.

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